on Inness

George Inness, “The Roman Campagna“, 1874


There are few instances of expression more lambent than looking at George Inness’s “Roman Campagna” while listening to Henryk Górecki’s plangent “Wislo Moja, Wislo Szara“, since, to me, both works transubstantiate the tortuous aspects of time into a pleasant, warm resignation; they remind me that so much of war is only heat.

It’s partially unknown to me why the works of George Inness are to me translations of senescence and that brightness of dissolution and anility; it is, perhaps, his usage of colour, which is so jocosely gradiented between the syncopal nature of his skies and the very-nearly-vividness of his objects. Inness is, in a real sense, so nimble and lightsome in how he mirrors the views being recreated, that his trust is entirely placed upon the plates of those eons that compose our ever-reclaiming natural world; the overflowing and billowing natural history that, in its incontestable wisdom, gives us the solidity of life and the fluidity of dying. No love quite equals that which this world has for us; no blindness can puncture that reality, try as it may, and as it so often does, nowadays.

The poem itself is bit shorter and less dense than usual; I’m trying to loosen a bit, if only for this Summer.

Thanks for reading,
João-Maria.

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João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

15 thoughts on “on Inness”

  1. Large mirrors for the firs to check each others’ breathing… Beautiful imagery. Smiled at the punch of the words forever evers.
    Thank you for writing 🙂

    If I may ask….what does silver allude to?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the sweetest, veritably. I think this might be the only poem I’ve written thus far that is fit for smiling, although I’m uncertain how I feel about that. Poetry lends itself more easily to sadness, sadly.

      Silver alludes to a lake or a pond with specular reflection; you know, when the light is either crepuscular or dawning and small puddles become mirrors, and the pine-needles seem to buoy around in liquid silver?
      Or, at least, that’s what I picture, haha.

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      1. I agree on poetry and sadness. I liked the words forever and evers juxtaposed. Ergo smile.

        Yeah I wasn’t sure whether you meant silver oaks or water

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know if ever works as a verb at all, although evering is one of the constituent pieces of a wagon’s framework, but that’s a noun.
        And no, although I get why you would think of silver oaks, those trees shed so-much waste. There’s always a golden membrane of waste in the pavement around them.

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    1. That’s an interesting question from a quasi-ontological perspective, as in, how can you have moral alignments without an intrinsic morality. The problem here is that the poetic subject is not the one dissolving spirits. Curiously, when I wrote it, I thought of decay, which is the general theme of the poem, and how a pine-needle, for instance, takes about a month to fully grumble. A spirit, however, takes much longer to be abraded from the world, until it is so, and by then, it feels as if it happened entirely suddenly.

      I don’t know why I’m explaining all of this when all you asked was the villipendium-like-nature of the phrase “dissolving spirits”. I’m a lonely person, Bob.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The poem works – I sat with it for a day or two. I started to believe that I no longer knew the meaning of words. I started to doubt. Would you believe, I had to look up “dwindle” – I have no idea why. And in the end, despite my self-absorption, it captured something beautiful and fleetingly permanent – “Like a smile on an infant’s face” (William Blake).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you dearly, Bruce. This means quite a bit to me. I was recently talking to a compeer of mine who also said something similar: that my poems required time and a bit of effort, something not many will give me the graces of, which I absolutely understand.
        But, if it so happens that one does, and it provides something beautiful and fleetingly permanent, well, I think that’s worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is interesting on so many levels. Thank you for introducing me to George Innes, what a beautiful landscape, and for your assessment of his technique. You are an inspired guide. I must check out more of his paintings.
    Your poem is fascinating. I do like, ‘the flavour of fallen clouds; and the pleating of ends and starts’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Cath! I’m so happy you came by; I just discovered your blog, and I’m very happy to have done so. Inness is a brilliant, absolutely incontestable bucolic painter, and I’m often saddened that more people do not know of him; having a hand at diffusing his work and name is an honour that I gladly welcome.
      Thank you for complimenting my little poem; it means a lot, truly.

      Liked by 1 person

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