Self-Portrait Poem by Richard Theze


In glass, an image perceived,
From which emerges
A masterly, monochrome impression,
Shades of pretense,
A mere semblance of form,
At contrast with the artist’s true palette
Gynecic, Sardanapalian,
An underpainted look-alike,
Capturing fast, fleeting moments
Of imbalance, incongruence,
The whole, thus,
An imperfect composition
Which offends critics
Who, unerringly prefer,
Unity in art.

Pamela Sinicrope 21 September 2015

So I see that this poem, in addition to being the larger metaphor, is indeed a self portrait. Your words about art and photography, combined with the Kaleidoscope poem, as well as your interest in balance in nature, got me thinking more about imbalances within humans and how we capture that with our words (your poetry) , with a paintbrush (eg. Picasso and cubism?) , with a camera. Thoughts...

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Richard Thézé 22 September 2015

I think that most artists put a lot of themselves into their work. You can certainly see it in paintings, but poetry too. Some of my poems, but by no means all, are an exploration of self and the nature of imperfection or imbalance. In Kaleidoscope, everything conforms to patterns, but rolling stone and Self Portrait explore resistance of rules - defiance even - and the idea of non-convention and refusal to conform to 'normal' expectations.

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Pamela Sinicrope 20 September 2015

This was a very interesting poem to me, especially after reading the Kaleidescope poem first. This 4 stanza poem, consisting of only one sentence (and I love that! ...unity in art...unity in sentence?) , cleverly titled self-portrait, is really not a self-portrait at all, but more a statement on the complexity of humans themselves and on the inability of a portrait to really accurately or truthfully portray a person. Instead, it is shades of pretense/a mere semblance of form/At contrast with the artist's true palette So, it appears there could also be a comparison here between a photograph and a painting? The term underpainted look-alike is a great way of showing through words how a photograph, a painting, taking in 3D at one point in time, could never show the complexity of a human being? The final stanza of the poem pulls the theme together ('The whole, thus an imperfect composition') , while the last line is once again, a play on words (Unity in Art.) . Finally, I'm puzzled by the use of the words Gencic' and 'Sardanapalian, ' meaning feminine and expressively luxurious or sensual...are you referring to the artist's palette that can glean the feminine out of the masculine form in addition to being more than monochromatic? Or did I miss something? Its nice to be challenged! :)

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Richard Thézé 20 September 2015

Thank you for your kind words. I don't think you have missed much at all. I like your interpretation of feminine out of the masculine form. The poem is a metaphor.

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Richard Theze

Richard Theze

Bicester, Oxfordshire
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