“Life’s Maimed Imaginings”

Frankincense and Myrrh – Amy Lowell

My heart is tuned to sorrow, and the strings
Vibrate most readily to minor chords,
Searching and sad; my mind is stuffed with words
Which voice the passion and the ache of things:
Illusions beating with their baffled wings
Against the walls of circumstance, and hoards
Of torn desires, broken joys; records
Of all a bruised life’s maimed imaginings.
Now you are come! You tremble like a star
Poised where, behind earth’s rim, the sun has set.
Your voice has sung across my heart, but numb
And mute, I have no tones to answer. Far
Within I kneel before you, speechless yet,
And life ablaze with beauty, I am dumb.

Hera, by Francis Picabia, 1929:

I had to turn this post over to the poetry of Amy Lowell (one of my favorites) and the imagery of Francis Picabia, because I’m in a bit of a pissy mood. Well, maybe not pissy but moody and disconcerted. And anxious. And perturbed. I like the word “perturbed”. Eh, whatever. Maybe I’ll go shave my fucking head and give myself a nose piercing. Wouldn’t that be just splendid?


10 thoughts on ““Life’s Maimed Imaginings”

  1. Andrew says:

    I don’t think a nose piercing or shaved head suits you. Try chocolate therapy instead.

  2. Bill says:

    Considering the kind of winter we’ve had, I’d give it another month before thinking about shaving your head. Then you’d be cold and pissy, instead of just pissy 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    Another beautiful poem and illustration (though sorry that the mood behind them is sad – but of course life delivers those moods from time to time!). Francis Picabia looks like another artist to check out (I ended up ordering a second-hand book on Odilon Redon when you previously posted a poem/painting blog. It’s a massive tome sent all the way from Chicago!)

    Anyway, hope things improve for you soon. It’s just about starting to be spring here, with early spring trees in blossom in London. Given that the Cherry Blossom trees were out when I was in New York, I’ve suddenly realised that it’s very nearly a year since I was there – I just will have to use the cliche, ‘time flies’!!

    • artmodel says:


      You’re right. It’s been almost a year since you were in NYC! Time really does fly. I was just remembering our lovely lunch the other day 🙂

      I’m glad I’m “introducing” you to artists like Redon and Picabia. it’s weird because I thought I had posted Picabia before, but I checked and he has been absent from this blog until now. I’ve always liked his work. Here’s a good page:


      Thanks for your comments and kindness. I’m feeling a bit better. Life is too complicated!!


  4. Fred says:

    Thanks for the link to the Picabia website (in your reply to Jennifer’s comment). A lot of interesting work there, most of which I’d never seen before. Many of them look like the work of other, more famous, artists – Duchamp, Max Ernst, Miro, Matisse, etc. The work you posted is one where he seems to be finding his own style! Seeing it in the context of Amy Lowell’s poem surely “colors” it, though.

    I must say I think “perturbed” is an appropriate way to feel right now.

    • artmodel says:

      Hi Fred,

      Picabia was friends with some of those guys you mentioned and you can definitely see the influences. I think I like his work from the 20s the best. It seems he found himself in the nexus of the 20th century art “isms” – cubism, surrealism, Dadism, etc. His biography suggests he eventually got fed up with all that and just decided to do his own thing and go more figurative, of which I definitely approve 🙂

      Thanks for your comments!


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