Alec Finlay: A Poem of Namings, from Gaelic and Norn - River Dee: photograph by Hannah Devereux, 2016 (from *gathering*) Alec Finlay is a Scottish poet and artist based in Edinburgh. These texts come from a ser...
Friday, January 21, 2011
Translating poetry into hats with Robert Van Dillen
This week, I finally delivered the last piece from our 2010 Art Invitational. The piece was "Fedora sensation" by Robert Van Dillen. Like all pieces submitted for our Art Invitationals, it is titled from language in the poem we were scoring -- in this case, Jack Ruby's America by Missouri poet laureate David Clewell. At one point in the poem, Clewell says that Ruby -- who killed Oswald, who had been charged with killing John F. Kennedy -- was a "Fedora sensation".
Those two previous hats were "Her black hats. Trussed up with astral flowers" (from the invitational to Go South for Animal Index, by the American poet Stefene Russell) and "Madness put on a porkpie hat" (from the invitational to Blind Cat Black by the Turkish poet Ece Ayhan, translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat). You can see them here piled up under "At apogee".
In 2011, we are scoring Incantata by the great Irish poet Paul Muldoon. I read the poem a few times tonight, looking for phrases that would make good titles for hats. Robert has indulged me, thus far, in letting me give him a title from the poem as a sort of commission. Here is what I got so far, from Incantata:
"Red Hand Commandos"
"Self-portraits by Rembrandt"
I'll try to remember to come back and write something about why I think these would make great hats!
The Art Invitational for Incantata will be held November 11, 2011 -- 11/11/11 -- at Mad Art Gallery.