About the Poems
by Stuart Greenhouse
When I lived in Manhattan I would go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art every week, on the way downtown to workshop. I’m not in New York anymore, or even near a museum I can get to regularly, so I began going to the MMA website to find what to write about (links for three of the subjects are below). The fourth picture-poem is from a small art book of Manet’s last paintings. Dying of advanced syphilis and crippled by rheumatism, his physical and creative endurance (though not desire, or vision) diminished, he would paint small watercolors of the flowers his friends had sent him.
These picture poems are, in one way or another, as concerned with error as they are with descriptive accuracy. What within myself allows me to perceive, and what do I miss because of it? You’ll probably see something very different in these links. That’s something I would’ve been very self-conscious of until I figured I may as well make it part of my poetry, at least obliquely.
“The Pool at the Jas de Bouffan”
Shaft-hole axhead with a bird-headed demon, boar, and dragon