Art, poetry and enigma: Giorgio de Chirico

When I’m not reading poetry, I love reading those Taschen art biographies. First, artists paint (hehe) interesting lives. Second, the paintings included in the biographies often work as excellent poetry prompts.

I’m reading about Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico at the moment. De Chirico worked as a surrealist and thought his life was connected to that of Friedrich Nietzche. As he found his voice (or do painters find their vision?), de Chirico grew increasingly fascinated with enigma.

Quick quote: “To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere.” -Giorgio de Chirico

There’s a lot of truth in this quote by de Chirico. While rules are the foundation of good writing, great writing often bends or breaks the rules slightly. The “imperfection” makes the work memorable and beautiful. It’s not always the case, but technically perfect can often be perfectly technical (and boring). So getting back to de Chirico, art must push beyond the logic and common sense of good writing to become great writing.

Anyway, here are two poetry-related de Chirico images:

“The Poet and His Muse”

“The Delights of the Poet”

To get back to one of the reasons I read these art biographies, use these two images to jumpstart your own poem. If you feel so inclined, feel free to share on here.

Happy holidays!


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