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Κυριακή, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

The Art of the Poetry

1.                  Subject Area: Literature: The Art of Poetry
2.                  Intended grade level range: Secondary School – 3rd Class
3.                  Artwork Selection




The English translation of the poem (from Google Books - The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca):
The sea
smiles from far off.
Teeth of foam,
lips of sky.
What do you sell, oh, turbid maid,
with your breasts to the wind?
I sell, sir, the water
of the seas.
What do you carry, oh, black youth,
mixed with your blood?
I carry, sir, the water
of the seas.
These salt tears,
Mother, from where do they come?
I weep, sir, the water
of the seas.
Heart; and this grave
bitterness, where was it born?
Very bitter is the water
of the seas!
The sea
smiles from far off.
Teeth of foam,
lips of sky.

The original text in Spanish:
El mar
sonríe a lo lejos.
Dientes de espuma,
labios de cielo.
¿Qué vendes, oh joven turbia
con los senos al aire?
Vendo, señor, el agua
de los mares.
¿Qué llevas, oh negro joven,
mezclado con tu sangre?
Llevo, señor, el agua
de los mares.
Esas lágrimas salobres
¿de dónde vienen, madre?
Lloro, señor, el agua
de los mares.
Corazón, y esta amargura
seria, ¿de dónde nace?
seria, ¿de dónde nace?
¡Amarga mucho el agua
de los mares!
El mar
sonríe a lo lejos.
Dientes de espuma,
labios de cielo.

4.                  Artwork Title: “Stay” (painting) and “The ballad of the water of the sea”(poem)
5.                  Artist: Aralyn McGregor and F.G. Lorca
6.                  Date: 2012 and 1919
7.                  Materials: Watercolor and poetic function of language

Two and two are four” but Two and two are rather blue.” (Koch)

The primary goal of prose is sharing information, but the primary goal of Poetry is something else. "Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks." (Simonides) I try to teach the poetic function of language using as an example the poem of Lorka, “The ballad of the water of the sea”. Students may watch and listen to a mucic video from “you tube” in which Greek “Onar” and Portuguese “Madredeus” sing and recite the ballad. I will use a watercolor, an artwork of Aralyn McGregor (SilentMStudio). It’s called “Stay”. McGrecor notes that much of her work is inspired by other art forms: poetry, music e. t.c.
I hope that in this “multi-sensional” way my students may feel the poetic function of language.
Include three open-ended questions related to the artwork in the sequence they would be presented.
1.       How would you describe the figure of the painting “Stay” and the personified Sea of “The ballad of the water of the sea”? Compare your descriptions.
2.       Which images, sounds, smells and tastes are created in your mind or/and your soul, when you are looking at the painting, you are reading the poem and you are listening to the song?
3.       According to Simonides "Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks." Do you agree? If you agree, how or/and why do you think that the “Stay” is a “silent poem” and “The ballad of water of the sea” “painting that speaks”? If you don’t agree, say why.
Include 3 bullet points of information about the artwork that is related to the theme/curriculum connection.

1.      “Stay” is a watercolor painting, a portrait of a woman in sea water or a sea water woman. The personification of the Sea in Lorka’s poem is similar to this portrait. However, there is a difference as regards the expression of two female resences: colors, shapes, lines for the woman and words/speech for the Sea.


  1. There is a resemblance referring to the attribution of woman’s figure and the Sea’s personification referring to the quality of the expressive way. The painting is a watercolor, so is made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The poem is made of words, phrases and verbal ways which have to do with the water.

  1. In accordance with 1 and 2 and as a result of them, the feeling(s) and associations of looking at this painting and reading or/and listening to this poem may be the same. Both of them, the painting and the poem are Art’s forms. So, they are mobilized by the (artist’s) imagination and mobilize the imagination of the person who is looking at the painting, who is reading or/and listening to poem.


Include an activity (multi-modal approach) for this artwork and include the following:
1.                  Brief description of activity: What will the students do? (i.e writing, drawing, movement)
2.                  Directions: How will you introduce this activity and what directions will you give your students?
3.                  Goals: What are your goals for including the activity in the conversation?

1. “Creative poetic writing” – Students will (try to) write a poem using a technique based on the poetic function of language. They will select some words or/and phrases from the poem and some others they have to do with the painting. After, they will combine the words in a “subversive” way, one or/and two of the poem and one or/and two of the painting, to create poetic phrases. Then they will write a poem using these phrases and other words in the same way.
2. “Work in pairs and create your poem!
    1. Select and write 8 -10 words from the poem and write 8 - 10 words, which you think that they have to do with the painting. For example: sea, blood, smiles … (poem)/ woman, seaweeds, is looking … (painting).Continue …
    2. Combine the words in a different way, one or/and two of the poem and one or/and two of the painting, to create poetic phrases. F. ex.: Sea smiles to the woman/ Blood of the seaweeds … Continue …
    3. Write your poem using the phrases you have created and other words in the same different way. F. ex.: Sea smiles to the woman and the blood of the seaweeds floods the ocean … Continue …
    4. Don’t forget! “Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.” (P. Valery)”

3. My goals for including the activity: to be my students after this activity able to  comprehend that the meaning and the sense of the words is modified in the Poetry, because language’s poetic function isn’t the usual, to combine the words in the “poetic” way, to be aware of the fact that the imageries (image – imagery – imagination) are created by this combination of the words, to create their poems using the poetic function of language, to sense that Poetry is a form of Art, and Art  is another way to assume the world and the life, because "… if you call painting dumb poetry, the painter may call poetry blind painting.” (Leonardo da Vinci) and “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” (Pablo Picasso).

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