Deep into Art

Angelina Jolie as seen by Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci's Leda

Deep into Art

Begin with a wash of black
for all is dark
when not exposed to light.

Deceive the stupid multitudes
like Pharisees and friars
who make employment
of delusions
and false miracles;

who suffer from their own opinions:
the greatest of all deceptions.

round and about
the universe:

Mist mingles with Air.
Water flows turbid,
mixes with Soil and Dust.
Though each with each,
Fire remains on its own.

East rushes Westward.
South to the North.

With great noise,
trembling with fury
the artist must express until
painting becomes poetry
that is seen; never heard.

And poetry heard; not seen
is written from painting.


This was written and posted for:

 dversepoets Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft –

Prose to Poetry by Claudia where we were supposed to select a piece of poetic prose, reformat it to look like a poem, rework it to meet your standards for poetry.

Instead of choosing one text, I found some quotes by Leonard da Vinci and melded them into a poem:

  • Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.
  • The East will be seen to rush to the West and the South to the North in confusion round and about the universe, with great noise and trembling or fury.
  • Of Water, which flows turbid and mixed with Soil and Dust; and of Mist, which is mixed with the Air; and of Fire which is mixed with its own, and each with each.”
  • Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude. Pharisees— that is to say, friars.
  • The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
  • A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.
  • The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.

Photo credit: Freaking News  Photoshop contest – Leonardo da Vinci pictures,  directions to artists were:

In this contest you are asked to show how paintings and inventions by Leonardo Da Vinci would look if he created them these days. Show his modernized work created simply for art, or for commercial purposes (advertising, political campaigns, etc.)

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on November 10, 2011, in D’verse Poets Pub, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Brilliant! I applaud your taking these quotes and making them your own, reshaping into something I feel is so right, so absolutely true, that the two (poetry and painting) are like mutual supports, one hardly existing without the other. First class work here!

  2. Very interesting take on the prompt. You strung the quotes together and melded them into one poem as if they had never been apart. Perhaps in the mind of Da Vinci they never truly were. Peace, Linda

  3. wow you took this to task mixing all those in there into what is an amazing poem…strong voice throughout…the artist must express until the painting becomes poetry…nice…

  4. Well done! An interesting piece 🙂

  5. Just terrific. This is one of my favorites of yours ever. Really wonderful. K.

  6. stunning lines, love it,

    the image, and the words, they are impressive and creative.

  7. You arrived at a lovely result in poetry – and as a fan of Angelina, I love the image too.

  8. oh love it tammy…esp. the last stanza…and these lines took my breath away..
    the artist must express until
    painting becomes poetry
    that is seen; never heard.
    And poetry heard; not seen,
    is written from painting

  9. You manage to create a strong voice within his words. Very creative take on the prompt.

  10. Aw, now I’m wishing I’d had the foresight to do this adaptation of the prompt. Well done! Somehow reminds me of Laertes, wisdom embedded in lecture. I listened with a seed of doubt, wonder and a smile.

  11. I love how you used the daVinci quotes to write from. He had wise words, and you made them ‘wiser.’

  12. Ooh, I really like your take on the challenge, exceptional job weaving and bringing the quotes alive in an entirely new light. Thanks

  13. I hear a very strong voice – a melding of artist’s and poet’s voice – in what you’ve made of these quotes. Well done!

  14. Very innovative approach! You make me so proud of myself for creating this challenge so I can take credit for the genius of others like yourself. 🙂

    As you point out, I see some interesting surface similarities between this and the Zumwalt poems.

    I love the way you establish meaning into the title at the beginning:

    “Begin with a wash of black
    for all is dark
    when not exposed to light.” (Deep, Darkness, Ignorance, Confusion)

    Really enjoyed this! I love following your blog — really delighted you took on this challenge — and with such boldness and originality!

  15. The passage

    East rushes Westward.
    South to the North.
    With great noise,
    trembling with fury

    particularly struck me because the idea of the directions folding together, already an unusual one, is strengthened by your deletions, and because the passage resonates with the phrase “the sound and the fury” rather than invoking it directly.

  16. A clever way of blending all the quotes into a gem. Very interesting!


  17. How unique and wonderful. Enjoyed how you intertwined the quotes.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: