Portfolio > Verse to Vision: Recent Oils/Poems

girls on plank, autumn landscape,
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
oil on canvas
14 x 30"

The Indians in the Woods and The Wife of Manibozho Sings contributed toward the inspiration of my painting East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Lewis’ poems remind me of the intimacy between nature and children, their wonder at every new thing, “distinct and visible”. To them, the smallness of things, like the berry leaf, is admired and remembered. This painting captures a moment, which is expectant with the coming and going of children. The children and the woods are treasures, each part of a whole.

The Indians in the Woods

Ah, the woods, the woods
Where small things
Are distinct and visible,

The berry plant,
The berry leaf, remembered
Line for line.

There are three figures
Walking in the woods
Whose feet press down
Needle and leaf and vine.

The Wife of Manibozho Sings

He comes and goes;
There is no rest
While he is here
Or gone.

I cannot say
That his feet have pressed
The leaves
He was standing on.

He comes and goes
And the maple leaves
Lie still
Under the sun.

From Lewis, Janet, "Poems Old and New 1918-1978". Swallow Press, Chicago, IL, 1982