Wednesday Poetry Corner With Aprilia Zank
One of our favourites to the Wednesday Poetry Corner is Aprilia Zank. I asked her to send us a poem that had been inspired by another poem. She has given us this marvelous piece inspired by one of T.S. Eliot’s great poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” You can listen to T. S. Eliot read his own poem HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2It9tloTnk
‘Courtesy of Steve Garside’
The statement, “Art engenders art,” has been interpreted (and misinterpreted!) in widely different ways. Notoriously misunderstood, among many others, also the quote attributed to Picasso, which says, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Consequently, plagiarists of all kinds have felt entitled to copy (and paste!), and put their names under other people’s creative efforts.
In the realm of literature, one of the most pertinent discourses on this topic was formulated by T. S. Eliot:
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.”
(Eliot, T.S., “Philip Massinger,” The Sacred Wood, New York: Bartleby.com, 2000)
Eliot’s utterance is clear and resolute, it needs no further interpretation. There is no legal ‘stealing’ in literature or the arts, there is just transposition of themes, motives or single elements from one work of art into a new, unique one, supposed to be at least different if not better – in good old wording, it all is about inspiration. Eliot himself did it in a most successful way and his literary work has been challenge and inspiration for many a generation of writers and poets.
Having dealt extensively with his masterpiece “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in my doctoral thesis, it became virtually coercive to me to write a poem inspired by it. Furthermore, the encounter with the painting titled “Eliot” by the poet and artist Steve Garside, with whom I have collaborated on various art and poetry projects, rounded out my mental imagery which was to be moulded into the final poem. This is an optimal illustration of the manyfold interaction between different creative fields and artistic media. We paint with words, convey poetry through music or colours, efface the borders between genres. Artists of all kind ‘steal’ from one another, but only in a metaphorical sense, only to create something new, something better and more original.