Antique Muses Stir a Modern Orpheus
And for many in the art world the monumental head is recognizable. It belongs to the American artist Jim Dine, who for the last 50 years has made his name as a highly successful painter, printmaker and sculptor while more quietly (and less lucratively) honing his skills as a poet.
The self-portrait will be the centerpiece of an installation called “Jim Dine: Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets)” that opens at the villa on Oct. 30. Mr. Dine has also written out a poem in charcoal on the gallery’s white walls and recorded it on a soundtrack that will play on a loop in the gallery.
I vaguely recall that I was also once a poet. I am going to work on a new poem today, just to see what happens.
I will probably not work on a giant plaster mold of my head.
Jim Harrison’s writing is oddly mysterious. His prose style is plain, even flat. His sentences unspool casually and are often comma-free to the point of sounding almost hapless. Yet they fuse on the page with a power and blunt beauty whose mechanics are difficult to trace even when you look closely. This straw-to-gold technique has served him in 14 previous books of fiction, including “Dalva” and “Legends of the Fall,” as well as numerous volumes of poetry and essays.
Someone should make a giant plaster mold of Jim Harrison's head.
Also reviewed in the New York Times this morning, a (very good) book I am reading:
For anyone who has logged much time on a bar stool staring at the elegantly lighted bottles across the way, the latest title in pre-Castro reminiscence — “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause,” by Tom Gjelten, a veteran NPR correspondent — might be a little confusing at first. For years the labels of many versions of Bacardi’s rum have announced, beneath their familiar bat logo, that they are the products of Puerto Rico, where the company has operated a distillery since 1937. But Bacardi was founded 75 years earlier in a tiny dirt-floored distillery in Santiago de Cuba by Facundo Bacardi Massó, the Spanish-born son of an illiterate bricklayer.