This picture Leonora Carrington’s The Giantess, c1947 stopped me in my tracks this evening. Sorry about the image, I should not really be lifting it anyway!
I am not sure any of us can explain why a particular work of art captures us, but when it happens it is wonderful.
Here is a little poem in response.
These feet are dainty but leaden
see how they pillow the earth?
My body is big because my heart is heavy,
childish features betray my true nature.
A fortuneteller once told me that I would always love two men,
and so I hold this little egg to protect me,
make it into tempera –
paint a new fate on my crinoline dress
my stories come to life around me
and leave me,
swans, geese, cormorants,
their wild twists lift my hair in dance
little feathers stinging with goodbyes.
I am in your dreams
you still recognise me,
even from the moment you let go
in your moonlit boat.
The owl made no sense that night
but still you kept going.
We all have young eyes in the dark –
straddle the land and sea
invaded by soldiers, our own monsters
too big to be destroyed.
Until the morning when we grow small again,
pop our hearts back in a cage.