Print & Poem

Inspired by a concept conceived in 2015 between Stephen Stuart-Smith from Enitharmon and Dario Illari from Jealous Gallery, The Print and the Poem has the intention of initiating a valid and honest dialogue between art and writing.

First launched at The London Original Print Fair this initiative continues year after year.

In this post the LOPF team come up with their take on this idea linking prints and poems of their choice. 


Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish

Sylvia Plath, Mirror,  1961

Lucian Freud, Head Of A Woman, Etching, 1982



Digging 

Between my finger and my thumb 

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. 

Under my window, a clean rasping sound 
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: 
My father, digging. I look down 

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds 
Bends low, comes up twenty years away 
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills 
Where he was digging. 

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft 
Against the inside knee was levered firmly. 
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep 
To scatter new potatoes that we picked, 
Loving their cool hardness in our hands. 

By God, the old man could handle a spade. 
Just like his old man. 

My grandfather cut more turf in a day 
Than any other man on Toner’s bog. 
Once I carried him milk in a bottle 
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up 
To drink it, then fell to right away 
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods 
Over his shoulder, going down and down 
For the good turf. Digging. 

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap 
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge 
Through living roots awaken in my head. 
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them. 

Between my finger and my thumb 
The squat pen rests. 
I’ll dig with it.


Seamus Heaney, Digging, , 1964

Tomas Watson, Dinner for one, Monotype.  2018 



I Had a Dove

I had a dove, and the sweet dove died;
And I have thought it died of grieving:
O, what could it grieve for? its feet were tied
With a single thread of my own hand's weaving;
Sweet little red feet, why should you die--
Why should you leave me, sweet bird, why?
You lived alone in the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss'd you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees? 

John Keats, Dove Poem,

Anita Klein, Dove

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