Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Amit Shankar Saha writes


Today I sit to write
the last poem of the year. 
Words queue to climb 
the anthill of poetry.
They mate with each other
to give birth to meaning.
Some words remain
alone in a line,
trying to match the meter
or cover the syllables
or demanding a deep breath
and a slow aspiration.
Such a word becomes the pivot
on which spins the poem
in a gyre.

 Las Hormigas (The Ants) -- Salvador Dali

1 comment:

  1. Dalí’s obsession with ants began during his childhood when he witnessed them devouring animals hundreds of times larger than themselves. At once fascinated and repulsed, he was intrigued by how these tiny creatures were able to bring about such dramatic metamorphoses, making objects disappear. Thus in his art ants came to represent decay, decomposition, destruction, change, and obsessive sexual desire. Nothing in our world is permanent, all things erode, everything is transitory and subject to change, even time itself. This particular painting was produced in the same year that Dalí collaborated with Luis Buñuel on "Un Chien Andalou," in which a woman is chased through a claustrophobic room by a man and escapes through a door, trapping the man’s ant-ridden hand in the process; close-ups of the ants emerging from a hole in the man’s hand are juxtaposed with shots of the woman’s armpit hair, linking the image of the ants with female sexuality. In Dalí and Buñuel's original script, the final scene of the film was to feature the corpses of the man and woman consumed by swarms of insects on the beach, bringing the ant theme to its logical conclusion, but budget restrictions prohibited this special effect and so instead we see the couple buried chest-deep in the sand. Dalí’s gouache collage may have been either a companion piece or preparatory sketch for the movie. Throngs of inky black ants swarm across the textured wood-panelled background while in the bottom right-hand corner a cut-out photograph of a half-clothed and frightened young woman seems to shy away from the clusters of grotesque looking insects. The use of photography and collage is testament to the artist’s enthusiastic embrace of new mechanical media into his creative process at this time, in the belief that certain cinematic and photographic effects were beyond the reach of painting.


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