You came in I watched you You looked at me I saw you You came closer I felt you You looked closer I touched you I wonder who made you Petrus Christus made me
Visitors? You mean all those dressed people? Nah, they were boring
The youth of today Doesn’t pay attention As did not-todays youth Their day watch A mess They’re worth painting though
Today brought many free people Just like me Dressed up for leisure As I will be Next Sunday In enjoyed your laughter Thanks for dropping by!
Gratitude, Crystal Echo Hawk Skee-Haru-Ha-Tawa, Kitkehaki Band, Pawnee For mentioning the dignity and strength of the Pawnee people For honouring the strenght of our Pawnee leaders And for protecting our people today Respect for family, Responsibility for the land Our obligation to do right by the next generation We share strength, innovation, beauty, and resiliency I see you A fearless warrior
Truth or dare? Truth? The dress is mine Though I’d rather wear pants
To all the lovers who kissed in front of us May your love last as long as ours
They didn’t look like royalists to me Hopefully tomorrow the crowd will be better
Today’s prompt blew me away. First because of the incredible Spoon River Anthology we were introduced to. How I wish I’d written that! Please do click on the link, it leads you to this brilliant book, free to read online. It’s from 1915, but I don’t think it will ever wear.
Being some much in awe, I tried to figure out what I love so much about this book that consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois. What makes it so exciting? There’s a strange reversal going on. The town is made up, but it reveals the true lives of people instead of their masks. The fictive persons are dead, but the poem brings them alive. The concrete little snippets tell a big story about us, the people…And then I had to write something myself. The prompt suggested to “write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.” But I wasn’t willing to compete with Edgar Lee Masters. So I tried to come up with something different. A reversal that would make sense in a way. Or reveal something, or bring something alive…
That’s how I ended up with this guest book, where the paintings write the messages instead of the visitors. It was SO much work. To choose which paintings to use, from The Met open access collection. To download and annotate. To put them on here… and do the writing too.
I would have loved to create a lay-out that was an actual guest book. Alas, I’m tired, I want to share this with you, and I want to read your pieces. So I call it a day, and hope you enjoy!
One last thing. I’d like to point out that The Met has a page called:
Contemporary Native artists and historians have been invited to respond to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Euro-American works in the American Wing’s collection. They present alternative narratives and broaden our understanding of American art and history. It’s well worth a look. You’ll notice that my ‘guest book entry’ for Pes-Ke-Le-Cha-Co draws from the words provided by Crystal Echo Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation, and advocate for the rights of Native peoples.