Tuesday, February 16, 2010

spouting violets

Words and clay?  Not exactly like chocolate and peanut butter - wouldn't say they were two great tastes that taste great together.  Muddy fingers don't do well with keyboards.  But as it turns out? My writing, wordy brain LOVES clay.  Working with clay is a very physical thing and my mental body is free to move around and wiggle jiggle free.

Winter is usually my high-concentration time.  Long evenings, staying in as opposed to going out, finishing little projects that wouldn't see the light of day in the summer.  Usually I use winter to tuck into some big, fat books.  And my glazes for the last few months have been the cream and white and icy blues of the season.

But I must be over all this snow.  I have Spring on the brain.  My concentration is lacking and I keep bringing work upstairs so I can look outside.  I don't want complicated plot lines and deep characters!  I want poems and snippets and pretty word pairings.  My fancy has turned to poetry.  My work has turned to flowers and birds, and words.  Flowers: Little flower-patterned dishes, Rosie candles, a new lamp design with "petals" like a peony.  Birds: 20 little ceramic birds in clover green, carnation pink, lemon and blue bonnet; birds on the lip of a Tweet candle, on the shoulder of a Tweet lamp.  Words: my new "Bloom" pots, with Molly Bloom's final words carved into their sides. I have abandoned my beloved, glassy high-fire glaze for the pop colors of low-fire.  Can there be seasonal change in ceramics and literature?  It's a little early for this, isn't it? Damn that groundhog!

So on my weekly trek to our excellent Princeton Public Library, I passed right by New Fiction.  I headed upstairs to the poetry section.  I pulled two favorite poets: Miss Emily Dickinson, the careful, amused observer of the natural world around her, and mr. e.e. cummings, the colorful, sing-song bard of the fractured word.

Dear March - Come in -
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -
Oh March, Come right up the stairs with me -
I have so much to tell -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -
But March, forgive me -
All those Hills you left for me to Hue -
There was no Purple suitable -
You took it all with you -

Is it sacrilege to follow the elegant Miss Dickinson with e.e.? Maybe.  But I think mr. cummings, the saucy little minx, is up to it.

Song I
can  dy   lu
       pinks shy
greens   coo   l  choc

   un   der,
   a   lo
    tive    s  pout

Both hopeful, both Spring, both violet and purple.  I'm thinking I should order some new glaze.