Poetry is art. Words with art. A great poet can move one to laughter or to tears, can make a stanger fall in love, or tear wounds with whispers of black and white. Without poetry, life would be less magical, less beautiful, less real. Merriam Websters dictionary defines poetry as; writing that creates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience, chosen and arranged in language to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.

The best moments in life are poetic. The best films are like poetry, the best novels. The best paintings move us like poetry, and the greatest music moves in metrical power with the grace of poetic deliverance, to capture and captivate our souls. But the essence of poetry, which can be nearly as powerful as life itself, is as simple as a pen and paper. No funding necessary. No label deal, no turnaround, no difficuly to produce, save for the soul searching of the writer them self. Yet in its simplicity, in its timeless ease, poetry has been and always will be one of the greatest forms of art and celebrations of life on planet Earth.

It is with this tribute to poetry, that we bring you here The Hollywood Sentinel's first regulary series of poets, featured weekly. This week, we bring you not only a poet, but also a painter. When we had the pleasure to see the powerful exhibition of MARLENE DUMAS, Measuring Your Own Grave, at the Museum of Contemporary Art last year in Los Angeles, we were stunningly impressed. Bordering on the surreal, the sublime, the sexual, and the deathly, Marlene Dumas, also a prolific author, regularly comments on her own work in short text and prose poems that accompany her paintings. The following poem accompanied her art piece titled Dead Marilyn. Here, we show you one of her more lighter works, entitled,The Teacher. We hope you enjoy.

- Bruce Edwin

I am the woman who does not know
where she wants to be buried any more.
When I was small, I wanted a big angel on my grave
with wings like in a Caravaggio painting.
Later I found that too pompous.
So I thought I'd rather have a cross.
Then I thought - a tree.
I am the woman who does not know
if I want to be buried anymore.
If no one goes to graveyards anymore
if you won't visit me there no more
I might as well have my ashes in a jam jar
and be more mobile.

But lets get back to my exhibition here.
I've been told that people want to know,
why such a somber title for a show?
Is it about artists and their mid-life careers,
or is it about women's after-50 fears?
No, let me make this clear:
It is the best definition I can find
for what an artist does when making art
and how a figure in a painting makes its mark.
For the type of portraitist like me
this is as wide as I can see.

© 2008, Marlene Dumas

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