Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mother and Child

Poems and paintings are drawn from the same roots and are probably closer in approach than any other art forms. They both ask and answer the same questions. They draw on emotion, intuition and implication. They are created and executed according to the same considerations. (Edward Hirsh, Poet in Residence at The Art Institute of Chicago)

Thus, I carefully answered the following questions as notes for this poem:

Setting: Is there a definite sense of time and place? What time is it in your mind? Where are the mother and child?

There’s no definite sense of time and place. But, based on the second stanza, it is possible that it is around evening and the mother and child are in a small bedroom.

These are the lines that gave me hints for my conclusion about the time and place:

We intrude their little space
framed by the dark,
illuminated by the little red lamp
to see what lies behind her stance.

Approach: In what angle, the viewers looked at? How would you describe the light? What is the feeling cast by the way the light was applied in the piece? What are the effects of these lights? Are the details in the poem carefully executed as of that of the painting?

The viewers must be lurking from behind since only the mother’s back and the baby’s feet were in view.
Everything outside the frame is bright since the viewers can clearly see even the little detail of a lowered left strap of the mother’s black dress. But within the frame, the light must be obscure and shadowy since there’s only a little red lamp that illuminates the room.

The light gives a gloomy feeling. It seems that the mother and child are together yet alone. I’m not sure whether the details in the poem were carefully executed as of that of the painting since I do not know whether the title of the poem is the same with the painting, hindering me to have a thorough research on it. Even the date when it was made is not indicated.