|Photograph by Hannah Maynard|
What a pleasure to see this poem published today! In Cloud Pharmacy which will be released by White Pine Press in early 2014, the sequence of poems inspired by Hannah Maynard is perhaps dearest to me. Certainly they were the most challenging to write. I am thankful to Jake Utti for caring enough to publish the first poem in a longer sequence of work.
The multiple exposure self-portrait of Hannah Maynard (1834-1918) pictured above is where my imagination began. However, these poems are not ekphrastic in a traditional sense. I am not looking at one photograph as I write the poems. Instead, I am more interested in the psyche of a very eccentric woman and the Victorian era in which she lived.
The Tangible, Intangible
after a photograph by Hannah Maynard
on the death of her child, c. 1887
Afterwards, she surveys the site:
the jostled cups, a buffalo rug
faded burlap of bookcase
overstuffed with tromp l’oeil painted spines.
The sound of the photograph
would be island rain
and the animal cry of the child gone—
In the darkroom she works alone
cajoles waterfalls, brings to light
the floating picture frame,
the doily’s difficult knowledge —
To continue reading the poem please go to The Monarch Review site.