Reprise from Clint Burnham The only poetry that matters: reading the Kootenay School of Writing:
[T]he work we do as critics, as teachers, as readers, turns out to have implications for our everyday lives, as well as for the social world that we inhabit.
And in his poetry we come across this:
a hardhat over a turban
isn’t anywhere so funny
as a sheet over a suit
Quite apart from the content which gives an “odd” inflection to the meaning of “funny”, there is something here akin to a sketch, a drawing awaiting some further elaboration (these three lines are set off in their own stanza before the poem “Betty” appearing in Buddyland resumes).
This is the type of poetry that suggests (here a human rights case over Sikh headgear above a hint of Klansman drapery) and this is why I want to bring this type of verbal manifestation into the orbit of “drawing”, especially drawing considered as a “vehicle for exploration and invention”. I am quoting Peter Campbell on a show at the British Museum (London Review of Books, 27.05.2010).
If this were an exhibition of paintings, they would be easier to label. With drawings you need words to describe uses and degrees of finish: ‘scribble’, ‘sketch’, ‘cartoon’, ‘study’, ‘design’, ‘contract drawing’. Some drawings, made as ends in themselves, can be called ‘presentation drawings’, others may have been made as part of a painter’s education. Some seem to have no purpose other than to please the maker. In Leonardo’s red chalk profiles of an old and a young man, young beauty and crumpled age are so well represented in the young man’s ringlets and the old man’s wrinkled skin that pleasure in mastery is reason enough for their existence.
Notice how genre is key in approaching drawing. Similarly the verbal artefact and its reception are imbricated in questions of genre. It is of course interesting to extend these meditations on genre to the matter of citation. Quotations, too, participate in various genres. Some are illustrative, some are authoritative, some are epigraphs. And like drawings, quotations often need to be accompanied by words.
And so for day 883