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A Poem Is A Painting

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Mandisa Radebe

on 19 June 2014

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Transcript of A Poem Is A Painting

A Poem Is A Painting
Phoebe Hesketh
(1909 - 2005)

The 1900's... You're too young.
Phoebe Hesketh
Hesketh was born in Preston, Lancashire on the 29th of January 1909
Her father was the pioneer radiologist Arthur E. Rayner; her mother was a violinist in the Hallé Orchestra
She attended Dagfield School, at Birkdate
Then later Cheltenham Ladies' College
Her teachers noticed and fostered her poetic talent
However leaving school to nurse her mother in her terminal illness
Married , and somewhat working.
General Overview and Glossary
“A Poem is a Painting” is a relatively simple, straightforward poem in which Hesketh compares the art of poetry to the art of painting. The speaker suggests that both poetry and paintings create images that are brought to life in the imaginations of the poet/painter and the audience. The most striking aspects of Hesketh’s poem are her use of imagery, metaphor and comparison to emphasise the similarities between poetry and painting. Her vivid and colourful descriptions reinforce the subject of her poem so that words in poetry are used in much the same way as colours on a canvas, in that they are used to create images in the minds of the audience.

A poem is a painting that is not seen;
A painting is a poem that is not heard.

That’s what poetry is— 1
A painting in the mind.
Without palette and brush
it mixes words into images.
The mind’s edge sharpens the knife 5
slashing the canvas with savage rocks
twisting trees and limbs into tortuous shapes
as Van Gogh did
or bewitched by movement’s grace,
captures the opalescent skirts 10
of Degas’ ballet dancers.

But words on the page
as paint on canvas
are fixed.
It’s in the spaces between 15
the poem is quickened.

Comparison and Metaphor
Free Verse
She married at 22, a handsome man called Aubrey Hesketh, the director of a Bolton spinning mill. He was wealthy enough to let her focus on her writing.
8 Years later, she published her first anthology of poetry called Poems although later she would question this calling it "juvenile"
During WW II she edited the womens page of the Bolton Evening News
In 1948 came her second volume of poetry -Lean Forward ,Spring! - which would earn her literary acclaim. She would later go on to produce sixteen other anthologies.
After the war, Hesketh did some freelancing lecturing and teaching of poetry.
She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Litrature in 1956 and in 1909 a Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire
Almost all of her life she Lived in Lanashire, a landscape frequently described in her poetry and in her prose books
Indeed she was renowned for her poems depicting nature
After the tragic death of her young son, she wrote a number of religious poems focused on the Resurrection of Christ and the nature of sacrifice
Critics also often compared her to Emily Bonte
She died at the age of 96, 25th February 2005

palette (line 3): a thin board or
tablet on which an artist mixes
paints or pigments
tortuous (line 7): full of twists and
opalescent (line 10): exhibiting a kind
of milky iridescence (Examples of iridescence include soap bubbles, butterfly wings and sea shell) , like an opal (gemstone) ; a
lustrous rainbow-like play of colour
that tends to change as the angle of
view changes
quickened (line 16): to become
enlivened; to make alive
Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was
a Dutch post-Impressionist painter, who
was little-known during his lifetime but later
celebrated as one of the most influential
figures in 20th century art. Many of his most
famous paintings depict natural landscapes,
trees, flowers and wheat fields.
Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) was a
French artist regarded as one of the
founders of Impressionism. He is acclaimed
for his mastery in depicting movement,
particularly dancing – over half of his works
depict dancers – and for his complex propaiture of female nudes.
Rehearsal On Stage by Edgar Degas
The Olive Trees by Vincent van Gogh
Poetic Devices
World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations—including all of the great powers.
American women played important roles during World War II, both at home and in uniform. Not only did they give their sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers to the war effort, they gave their time, energy, and some even gave their lives.
In many ways, the story of women’s employment during WWI was repeated during WWII. Despite their success in wartime industries during WWI, similar stereotypes about women’s capacity and ability to engage in ‘men’s work’ were circulated by the employers and the government
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