15 august XXXV

i am now here in the nest where the lamb and the bear—the lion and the zebra—the
wolf and the panther—the fox, the winter and the summer weasel—the mole and the
chinchilla—the rabbit and the sable weave in silence above an abandoned staircase
after the party has washed the week and wrung out the handkerchief raining a
perfume that wanders in search of its shape in a sad afternoon that has so many
reasons to stretch into the oil blue of a silk duvet the corner of his eye rips drowning in
shreds the landscape he sighed in the place where the beehive yearns to form its ice
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Pablo Picasso

It was in early 1935, then, that Picasso (then fifty-four years old) began to write what we will present here as his poetry – a writing that continued, sometimes as a daily offering, until the summer of 1959. In the now standard Picasso myth, the onset of the poetry is said to have coincided with a devastating marital crisis (a financially risky divorce, to be more exact), because of which his output as a painter halted for the first time in his life. Writing – as a form of poetry using, largely, the medium of prose – became his alternative outlet. The flow of words begins abruptly (“privately” his biographer Patrick O’Brian tells us) on 18 april XXXV while in retreat at Boisgeloup. (He would lose the country place the next year in a legal settlement.) The pace is rapid, violent, pushing and twisting from one image to another, not bothering with punctuation, often defying syntax, expressive of a way of writing/languaging that he had never tried before more…

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"15 august XXXV" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 21 Mar. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/45270/15-august-xxxv>.

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