The Christmas Pet
The Sleeping Gypsy
The Silken Road
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Paintings and pictures have provided the inspiration for several poems in 'Fire Stations'. Click on the thumbnail images below to see them in full. Note: they may take a while to download.
X: ten studies for the Christ-figure
1. The Man of Sorrows — Petrus Christus, c.1450
2. The Slaughtered Ox — Rembrandt van Rijn, 1655
3. The Yellow Christ — Paul Gauguin, 1889
4. Bela Lugosi, c.1909
5. Crucifixion — Francis Bacon, 1933
6. The Hanged Man tarot card
'The Slaughtered Ox' was written as a response to Philip Larkin's poem 'Water', inspired by an article on Rembrandt by the Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak, 2001.
The Sleeping Gypsy — Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
In this poem I have imagined the lion as the sleeper's solid dream, either projected into the real world or somehow existing there independently. Rousseau's lion looks rather like a stuffed fairground prize, but the painting still has a weird magic about it. This poem was also written in response to music: the instrumental pieces on David Sylvian's album Gone To Earth.
For ten weeks in the summer of 1983 I worked as a Nursing Assistant in a psycho-geriatric ward at Stratheden Hospital, Cupar, Fife.
Jean-Dominique Bauby, author of The Diving-bell and the Butterfly (Fourth Estate, 2002).
In Memory of R.D. Laing
'You saw a man whose muscles turned to bone': the disease is fibro dysplasia ossificans, referred to by Laing in his autobiography Wisdom, Madness and Folly (p.81, Canongate Classics edition).
'given Discipline': i.e. The First and Second Books of Discipline, drafted by John Knox et al, 1560-1578.
For more online information about Laing, visit The Society for Laingian Studies web site.
A.B. Jackson © 2011