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POIESIS

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By KURT COLE EIDSVIG

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PoIesis is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek term ποιέω, which means "to make". This word, the root of our modern "poetry", was first a verb, an action that transforms and continues the world. Neither technical production nor creation in the romantic sense, poietic work reconciles thought with matter and time, and man with the world.

This column presents the poetry of Kurt Eidsvig, in juxtaposition to the dialogue around art and culture also featured at Big RED & Shiny. This is the second entry in his regular series of poems on the topic of art.


THE REASON I HATE GAUGUIN

is with all his Easter colors,
his bright resurrected robes,
even in a Tahitian dress, wearing
a thirteen-year-old Tahitian smile
carved on a piece of Tahitian wood
resting on a Tahitian stone—
in all of this he forgot to paint the air,
the water in the air, stained
by the indecision of sunlight.

I am looking upon a scene
I cannot move to breathe into
my lungs. I cannot move to occupy
that island paradise, my body
isn’t washed with the hazy colors
sodden into sky. The sky
is no longer here between us,
but sits, in afterthought, in way-
far distance, high above a hill, high
above a church— or way too far
beyond that, the sky watches the scene
unfold; retreats in disbelief.


"Gauguin Tahiti" was on view from February 29, 2004 to Sunday, June 20, 2004 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

All Gauguin images were obtained through public domain rights.


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About Author

Kurt Cole Eidsvig is an artist, poet, and writer. He has taught courses in Art History and Writing for UMASS/Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the University of Montana. His work has earned awards from organizations like the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital.

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