Rhyme in poetry The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us” (1807)
Alliteration & assonance in poetry TO THE STONE-CUTTERS Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated Challengers of oblivion Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down, The square-limbed Roman letters Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well Builds his monument mockingly; For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun Die blind and blacken to the heart: Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found The honey of peace in old poems. Robinson Jeffers, 1924
Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned, 1280-90 TEXTBOOK p. 185
VARIATION: the alliance between repetition and surprise The extensive poem, moreover, satisfies another two-fold requirement, one that is closely related to the rule of variety within unity: repetition and surprise. Repetition is a cardinal principal in poetry. Meter and its accents, rhyme, the epithets in Homer and other poets, phrases and incidents that recur like musical motifs and serve as signs to emphasize continuity. At the other extreme are breaks, changes, inventions - in a word, the unexpected. What we call development is merely the alliance between repetition and surprise, recurrence and invention, continuity and interruption. Octavio Paz, “Telling and Singing” in The Other Voice
The Four Evangelists, from the Gospel Book of Charlemagne, early 9 th century TEXTBOOK p. 135
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1971
Contrasts & Oppositions in Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist Diagonal/horizontal Straight/curved lines Air/water/Earth fire? Natural/artificial Clothed/(nearly) naked Tint/shade (light/shadow) colors What is the psychological relationship between the two men? Which of them is the “artist” in the title? Is it two sides of one person, the “artist”?
Contrasts in Degas’s Waiting (1882, pastel) WHITE – BLACK COLOR – NO COLOR OPEN – CLOSED YOUNG – OLD PERFORMER – SUPPORTER BUSY – EMPTY INWARD GAZE – OUTWARD GAZE
TWO GIRLS FISHING John Singer Sargent, 1912 (American, b.1856, d.1925) 22 x 28 1/4 in. (55.9 x 71.8 cm) organizational contrast – just variation?
organizational contrast A and Not A EMOTIONAL CONTRAST A in tension with Not A A in conflict and struggle with Not A A completed by Not A A united with Not A A in harmony with Not A
Rogier van der Weyden Netherlandish, 1399/1400 - 1464 Portrait of a Lady, c. 1460 oil on panel, painted surface: 34 x 25.5 cm (13 3/8 x 10 1/16 in.) panel: 37 x 27 cm (14 1/16 x 10 5/8 in.) Broad, plain areas contrast with tangle of fingers
Winslow Homer American, 1836 - 1910 Right and Left, 1909 oil on canvas, 71.8 x 122.9 cm (28 1/4 x 48 3/8 in.)
James McNeill Whistler American, 1834 - 1903 Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl 1862 oil on canvas, 213 x 107.9 cm (83 7/8 x 42 1/2 in.) White-on-white, but what animal nature lurks?
John Singer Sargent American, 1856 - 1925 Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911 oil on canvas, 63.8 x 76.2 cm (25 1/8 x 30 in.) Appropriate clothes?
Gilbert Stuart American, 1755 - 1828 The Skater (Portrait of William Grant), 1782 oil on canvas, 245.5 x 147.4 cm (96 1/4 x 58 in.) Stately, stable figure – on skates!
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1971
Andy Warhol, Orange Disaster No. 5, 1963 not a good example of EMPHASIS
ECONOMY limitation of a composition to a few essential elements; usually a voluntary constraint that is part of the creative process SPECIFIC TO AN INDIVIDUAL WORK, NOT THE GENRE, TYPE OR MEDIUM Examples in music: deriving everything from a single theme (musical idea), limiting the number of pitches, type of instrument, etc. Steve Reich, Music for Pieces of Wood, Clapping Music, or other pieces DC Meckler, Bliss (1999) Morton Feldman, Three Voices (1982)
Picasso, Femme ECONOMY – very little suggests a lot
Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1935, 48x48 in.
Joseph Mallord William Turner British, 1775–1851. Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On), 1840 Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 48 1/4 in.
Shahn, Ben, Vacant Lot, 1939 Watercolor and gouache on paper mounted on plywood panel, 19 x 23 in
Carlo Crivelli Venetian, c. 1430/1435 - 1495 Madonna and Child Enthroned with Donor, 1470 tempera on panel, painted surface: 125.3 x 50.7 cm (49 5/16 x 19 15/16 in.) including unpainted margins: 129.5 x 54.4 cm (51 x 21 7/16 in.) donor
Proportion in music A matter of time, usually lots of time. Example: 3 Beethoven string quartets (Op 59, 1, 2 & 3). Each in 4 movements. No. 1 – BIG 1 st mvt No. 2 – nervous 1 st mvt, BIG 2 nd mvt No. 3 – BIG finale (4 th mvt)
SCALE SCALE - the size of a work compared to the environment: miniature, human, monumental. The term can also apply to musical works, although it has an entirely different meaning than “musical scale.” (“A symphony is a large-scale musical work when compared to a song.”)
Claes Oldenburg, Knife Ship I, 1985 Vinyl-covered wood, steel, and aluminum with motors, dimensions variable, maximum height 31 feet 8 inches x 40 feet 5 inches x 31 feet 6 inches.
Miniature Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), mid-16th century; Ottoman, 8x5 in.
Some examples of time scales in music Less than a minute - Miniatures – Chopin, Webern, Schoenberg Pop songs – 3-6 minutes Early symphonies – 25-35 minutes Later symphonies – 45 min - 1 hr Longest – Mahler – 1 ½ hrs Short opera – 2 hours Average opera – 3-4 hours (including intermissions) Long opera – 5 hours Longest traditional opera – Wagner’s RING – 18 hours
Robert Motherwell, Elegy for the Spanish Revolution No. 34, 1953-54
Georgia O’Keefe on scale & flowers: Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small—we haven’t time—and to see it takes time, like to have a friend takes time.... So I said to myself—I’ll paint what I see—what the flower is to me—but I’ll paint it big.... I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
Geogia O'Keeffe American, 1887–1986, White Rose with Larkspur, No. 2, 1927, Oil on canvas; 40 x 30 in.
Geogia O'Keeffe Jimson Weed 70x84 in Scale has to do with the size of the work itself
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN REPETITION VARIATION CONTRAST BALANCE – symmetry/asymmetry EMPHASIS - accent ECONOMY PROPORTION SCALE Some
George Bellows American, 1882 - 1925 Both Members of This Club, 1909 oil on canvas, 115 x 160.5 cm (45 1/4 x 63 1/8 in.)
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