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Exhibition at Monkton Arts
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Ovid at Dimbola
Published in The Morning Star 21/1/21
An adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s translation of Ovid’s
Amores 1.2, with Donald Trump’s fervent supporters in mind
What made our beds seem hard?
And why did sleep elude us far too often?
Though the nights were long our rest was short —
We were exhausted, overwhelmed and fraught.
And all your crazy fault!
The constant piercing darts
Of love and hate and hate in equal parts
Attacked our desperate hearts.
To yield or strive, which one would give us rest?
Let’s yield, we said, a burden simply borne is best.
(Unwilling lovers, love does more torment
than such as in their bondage feel content.)
Submitting bodies, hearts and minds,
We held our captured thoughts for you to bind.
No need for war (we sued with you for peace)
As arms to conquer harmlessness was pointless.
Lately caught, displaying new-made wounds,
Like slavish fashionistas — captive-like be-manacled and bound,
Examples and disciples like all fools that seek love’s wrack —
With thoughts tied up like idiots, behind a beaten back.
And famous, worshipped as a king,
In triumph, loudly did your vassals sing.
Smooth speeches, fear and rage sat by your side,
Your tropes had conquered (truth had long since died).
But when in time we erred, so many did you burn,
And gave wounds infinite at every turn,
In spite of us your arrows flew,
A scorching flame for all you thought you knew,
A Trump-et blast of truth you said,
But who believes you now — some do,
As working class and bourgeoisie
Were caught in your appalling calumny,
And soldiers’ constant marching bands
Manipulated all the sad and lonely captured
With their captivating hands.
■ Steve Rushton’s books of poetry include Burning a Paper Plate, towards
a new art, lines written and Various Wanted. 21st-Century Poetry is
edited by Andy Croft, email email@example.com.
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Problems of the flat surface
Renaissance art had solutions in angels and other flying creatures occupying areas needing foregrounding. Breughel used birds to good effect. Clouds were employed by Dutch landscape painters and Constable/Turner—the viewer taken into spatial recession along some canal path or other, but the journey back was on a cumulonimbus.
Late nineteenth century art freed paint from its full time job of representation so brushstrokes could take the place of objects. Artists started tilting landscapes, raising horizon lines so that land and picture became one, especially in works of Cezanne and Van Gogh. And from there on into various forms of abstraction. (In reverse, temporary apotheoses may occur when brushstrokes become flying creatures and spatial recession glimpsed in-between.)
Steve Rushton On the road again oil on board 2020
radio gig resonance fm
The Hello GoodBye Show is an upbeat, eclectic live music show hosted by deXter Bentley every Saturday lunchtime between midday and 1.30pm on London’s only dedicated art’s radio station Resonance 104.4 FM.
Saturday 16th November 2019: The Sounds of Ursa bring the ethereal and evocatively cinematic soundscapes and song-craft of Bristol based artist Helen Stanley. Ovid With Reverb offer a malleable reimagining of the work of Ovid set alongside an improvised soundtrack of percussion and music. Alev Lenz performs songs from her new LP ‘3’, a collection of twelve almost completely
acapella songs exploring relationships, empowerment, motherhood, and the patriarchy.
Broadcast in Central London on 104.4 FM, D.A.B. in Greater London and worldwide on-line via: RadioPlayer
Lines written…while considering Ovid in translation
click here to purchase this poetry pamphlet influenced by Ovid and his English translators and admirers, published by erbacce-press.
Notes (on comparing English Translations by Christopher Marlowe and John Dryden from Ovid’s Amores 1.1, 1.4 & 2.19)
Notes (on comparing English Translations by Christopher Marlowe and John Dryden from Ovid’s Amores 1.1, 1.4 & 2.19) is published by Contemporary Literature Press, the online publishing house of the University of Bucharest