Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

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Fall Erwin Olaf


November 27 December, 2008


An accepted truism is that a great portrait photograph captures a fleeting moment of perfection and reveals honesty in the eyes of the sitter. In inimitable style, Erwin Olaf turns the tables on this concept in his recent series Fall (2008), in which he combines awkward portraits of young models with still-life images of foliage in painted vases. The plants are pert and spiky, the models droopy and unfocussed, their eyes partly closed. These are not the cute and perky teenagers of Benetton ads, dressed in rainbow-hued knitwear. Instead Olaf uses the palette of post-war austerity washed-out colours in the natural hues of cork, straw, marble, teak and terracotta. The five female and five male models are draped in skin-toned clothes. Wearing tan and pale pink, Olaf's models seem nude, though their emotions are camouflaged.

"I was intrigued by the idea of a portrait in which something is out-of-sync," explains Erwin Olaf. "It became a new type of sexy, to photograph a beautiful model blinking at the wrong moment, using a camera angle that is slightly wrong. It is disturbing to see this incorrect fraction of a second frozen in a portrait. Yet with the still-lifes, there is a timeless aspect, since I could make tiny changes during the shoot, moving the plants a little bit to the left or to the right. When the portraits are seen on their own, they seem restless, but when they are placed next to the plants, they gain a more relaxed attitude."

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