Sunday, 2 April 2017

Moon! Moon!

Sometimes, in the process of coming up with collages, I make a background that is, in my immediate judgement at least, sufficient in itself. It seems a shame to plonk a crow or a wasp or anything else onto it. Not that I won't, but, so far, with this one, I haven't.

It puts me in mind of one of my favourite poems by Ted Hughes, "about" his daughter Frieda, which in turn has come to put me in mind of my own daughter when she was small. There's something special about the "early" Hughes (this poem is from Wodwo, published in 1967) in which he seems to be writing for the saucer-eyed child in all of us. There's a nice e-book available from Faber, in the Faber Voices series, which includes recordings of Hughes reading this and a number of his other better-known poems. I love the reflexive loops and inversions that bind this poem together so tightly, like the hoops of a barrel.
Full Moon and Little Frieda

A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a

And you listening.
A spider's web, tense for the dew's touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming—mirror
To tempt a first star to a tremor.

Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges
  with their warm wreaths of breath—
A dark river of blood, many boulders,
Balancing unspilled milk.

'Moon!' you cry suddenly, 'Moon!  Moon!'

The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work

That points at him amazed.


Omer said...

Yeah, nice collage. Is there a reason why having two versions is not possible?

I think poetry and photography are kindred, and unfortunately both equally mysterious to most practitioners of each. Yes, the Ted Hughes poem is lovely.

OK, disclaimer: I don't much read poetry anymore, or view other photographers' work. So.

Mike C. said...


No reason at all -- in fact there are about five versions of this one, so far -- this is just the one I liked most, this morning... it's all done with PS "layers" (what you see here is a "flattened" JPG version of a seven-layer PSD file), so infinite experimentation is possible.


Anonymous said...

The collage appears somehow Japanese to me - maybe a Haiku would go well with it, e.g.

hazy moon in the pine--
passing through
passing through


Best, Thomas

Mike C. said...


Yes, you're right, and a good choice of haiku. My thought was, however, given that it does look so Japanese, that something entirely English would set off more interesting reverberations? Though, now I think of it, there is something quite Japanese about Ted Hughes.

As it happens, I've been working a Japanese theme this week, constructing zen-style scrolls -- watch this space!