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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Breathing

(The Lynx by Christopher Pratt, born 1935, a Canadian
painter living in the province of Newfoundland)

Christopher Pratt is my favorite Canadian painter.

Some critics have dismissed his art as mere “realism,” cold and objective realism. But I think that one Toronto art curator had it right when he wrote: “Because Pratt paints things people recognize, they make that mistake. Nothing could be more misleading. He’s a metaphysical painter, concerned with defining qualities of experience rather than portraying specific objects or events. His work is as abstract as Mondrian.”


An absolute
Trees stand
up to their knees in
fog. The fog
slowly flows
cobwebs, the grass
leaning where deer
have looked for apples.
The woods
from brook to where
the top of the hill looks
over the fog, send up
not one bird.
So absolute, it is
no other than
happiness itself, a breathing
too quiet to hear.

~ Denise Levertov (1923-1997), English-born American poet

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