What a privilege it has been to read poetry there, alongside works of art, drawing poems from the AFRICA! Anthologies; the POETRY IN McGREGOR FESTIVAL Anthologies; the first twelve issues of STANZAS; and a number of collections, including translations from the Italian of Valerio Magrelli’s work.
In bidding farewell, I reflect on four exhibitions –
Jacob van Schalkwyk’s SUNSETS. Here, I was caught up in the brush-strokes – their wide, wild movement, their dragging of colour into whirling, and the stretched senses of birth-decay-dying-rebirth.
Olivié Keck’s, SELFIE FULFILLING PROPHECY. Here, it was the pinks and puce, the oranges and the aloneness of each female subject that moved me, as well as the way they reminded me ever-so of Edward Hopper’s alone-women.
The David Krut 2016 YEAR-END EXHIBITION featuring Deborah Bell, William Kentridge and Diane Victor. Here, I read alone without an audience. Outside, the great oak trees of Montebello were alive with greens and bark and wind. Inside, on the walls were the black, greys, darkening-lightening of three master artists.
Quinten Edward Williams’s exhibition, INTERRUPTION: IMAGING A SENSE OF PLACE provoked a sense of juxtaposed displacement and tenure through layering of forms and lines, with vibrant and jarring colours that made me feel fabulously entangled and yet simultaneously free.
I conclude my tenure by presenting you with a poem composed from single lines and words.
Drawing with Lines and Words Taken From Poems Read at Olivié Keck’s Walkabout at her exhibition, Selfie Fulfilling Prophecy
Cape Town, 19 November 2016
I, the king’s daughter, stand in my tower with my lute.
My eyelids are heavy.
No, do not come too close,
For this is a most private place,
Where incense drifts on breezes through a doorway.
I peel the colours of my life,
Like soft ripe figs.
I crush ripe berries into thick ink,
Turn slices of watermelon into pages,
Give colour to poem-topping cherry and painted peach,
To brown pear and ripe cello.
A pink shell stands guard,
With maraschino cherries and strawberries –
Enough to make me dream of youth and love,
Where I imagine you standing at a window,
At an open window, watching.
On this threshold,
Our days lie folded,
With something of the sacred to them,
Like the linens the caravans carry,
Like the wing of an angel,
Like the astonishing fact of music poetry and art.
PAINTING: After Renoir, Woman Reading by Zenon Nowacki
Thank you to David Krut and his staff for having provided a wonderful venue and for supporting poetry