Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thanks to the Illustrating Pirate

One of the jolting pleasures of being a publishing poet in the age of the Web is to stumble on a poem that has gone on adventures without my knowledge. The Niches section of my website collects links to poems I've come across on, among other places, a Spelunking site and a Wine-tasting site.

But recently I had an experience that topped all these—to find "Two Into Two" at a very special and mysterious website, accompanied by a remarkable choice of illustration that taught me more than I maybe even wanted to know about my own poem. I wrote the poem in an entirely different and luminously innocent context, or so I thought; but this illustration, insightfully it seems to me, brings out other aspects: power and patriarchy and disfigurement.

Oddly, these meanings also seem to have been added onto the text they originally illustrate.  The apparent source for the tale, "The Knave of Hearts" by Louise Sargent, is a tale of tarts far, far more innocuous than Parrish's illustration implies.