Edgar Degas

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Edgar Degas

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 16 Nov 2021, 05:25

Edgar Degas


When I last visited my old friend
he looked frightened,
disoriented. He urged me to leave now
as if he didn’t recognize me—
his cane slashing the air.

I see him occasionally,
alone at dusk, walking streets
where he and Mary Cassatt
once wandered together,
stopping at millineries
and dress shops.

He returns nightly
to paintings stacked
against his walls,
where a dancer in a muslin skirt
leans a leg over a rail,

and another girl steps forward
with her right foot.
Each pauses for Degas,
awaiting his next
instruction.

As he ages Degas becomes more
and more isolated,
his hearing almost gone,
his vision so bad
he can't read,
much less sketch or paint,
his work reduced to wax
or clay statuettes.

Exasperated he flings them
to the studio floor.

I again find him, exhausted, slumped
forward on a table, his face
covered by his hands, the air
a fog of fine dust.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1433
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Edgar Degas

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 17 Nov 2021, 09:06

Don't know much about Degas. Too many gifted geniuses are haunted. That's the poem for me. Good job

BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Edgar Degas

#3 Post by BobBradshaw » 19 Nov 2021, 04:16

Thanks, Ken

BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Edgar Degas

#4 Post by BobBradshaw » 26 Nov 2021, 21:32

Tweaked

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1920
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Edgar Degas

#5 Post by Michael (MV) » 27 Nov 2021, 16:45

Hi Bob,

Who is the I? What is the narrator's relationship to Degas? I believe that recognition would further validate the observations conveyed.

In this illustrated workshopping(including a reduction in pronouns) - of course for your perusal & consideration - I will example with a brother being the speaker. -- Michael (MV)


When I last visited,
he looked frightened, and disoriented,
as if not recognizing his brother --
demanding me to leave now
cane slashing at the air.

I see him occasionally,
alone at dusk, walking streets
he and Mary Cassatt once
wandered -- stopping
at millineries and dress shops.

He returns nightly
to paintings stacked
against walls:
in one, a dancer in a muslin skirt
leans a leg over a rail;

in another, a girl steps forward
with her right foot. Each
pauses for the master,
awaiting his next
instruction.

Degas ages, becoming more
and more isolated --
hearing almost gone,
vision so bad
the old man can't read,
much less sketch or paint.

His efforts, reduced to wax
or clay statuettes. Exasperated,
he flings them
to the studio floor.

Again I find him -- exhausted,
and slumped forward on a table,
his face covered by his hands,
the air, a fog of fine dust.


BobBradshaw wrote:
16 Nov 2021, 05:25
Edgar Degas


When I last visited
he looked frightened,
disoriented. He urged me to leave now
as if he didn’t recognize me—
his cane slashing the air.

I see him occasionally,
alone at dusk, walking streets
where he and Mary Cassatt
once wandered together,
stopping at millineries
and dress shops.

He returns nightly
to paintings stacked
against his walls,
where a dancer in a muslin skirt
leans a leg over a rail,

and another girl steps forward
with her right foot.
Each pauses for Degas,
awaiting his next
instruction.

As he ages Degas becomes more
and more isolated,
his hearing almost gone,
his vision so bad
he can't read,
much less sketch or paint,
his work reduced to wax
or clay statuettes.

Exasperated he flings them
to the studio floor.

I again find him, exhausted, slumped
forward on a table, his face
covered by his hands, the air
a fog of fine dust.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Edgar Degas

#6 Post by BobBradshaw » 27 Nov 2021, 21:57

Thanks, Michael. I have made a change in the first line, clarifying that it's a friend speaking.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1920
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Edgar Degas

#7 Post by Michael (MV) » 28 Nov 2021, 14:43

Hi Bob,

A workshop-share in which the speaker's relationship surfaces from the dramatized:

When I last visited,
he looked frightened,
disoriented. He urged me to leave now
as if he didn’t recognize
his best friend since boyhood --
his cane slashing the air.


😎

Michael (MV)

BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Edgar Degas

#8 Post by BobBradshaw » 30 Nov 2021, 00:21

It's a good line, Michael, but I don't think Degas had a best friend since childhood. He had few people he was close to...maybe only Manet for awhile and Mary Cassatt. He was basically a loner, an outsider though he attended weekly evening dinners for many years at Manet's place as well as weekly cafe meetings with other artists and writers, Manet again the leader of the get-togethers. He and Cassatt were close as friends for many years.

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Billy
Posts: 1159
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: Edgar Degas

#9 Post by Billy » 01 Dec 2021, 08:28

This is good but I miss your usual brilliant images and similes.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 2041
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Edgar Degas

#10 Post by BobBradshaw » 01 Dec 2021, 23:43

Thanks, Billy

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