Sunday, March 21, 2010

THE POETRY OF ERIC WHOLLEM/ Imitations of Spring 1973


                                                     Melancholy Broods on the Stem
                                                     by Eric Whollem
                                                     ink on paper
                                                     Collection of the artist.
                                                       Copyright by the artist.

Youthful Malaise

When one is young, hormones race through one's being
that wreak havoc with self composure. The evils of society
are blown out of proportion. In this work I was trying to
outdo the Existentialists. I had read Kierkegaard, Camus,
and others. Nothing seemed right with the world.

In the above poem, "Imitations of Spring," a variety of
influences were at work. William Blake's idiom is reflected
in the use of the term, Beulah, which was popular with that
poet. However I turned the phrase on itself and made it into
yet another torturous negativity.

The lines about the "bones of the fish"  are a fragment from
early Celtic poetry, one that is very subjective, but haunted
my imagination.

The drawing above, "Melancholy Broods on the Stem,"
seemed an appropriate illustration for this work. This
drawing was one of many that I had done after my lone
walks through the foothills of Palermo, California.

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