Art, poetry and enigma: Giorgio de Chirico

Publish date:

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!


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!


20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.


Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.


Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.