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  • Lisa

Inspiration & Illumination

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

In early winter 2019, I walked across Luxembourg Gardens to visit a friend. And in this case, the friend was actually a place: the Paris museum of Ossip Zadkine, which is his former atelier and garden. I've been visiting this place for inspiration every few years (for 3 decades--I just surprised myself with the math of that!) The museum includes Zadkine's studio, as an intimate art exhibition space, but equally important, the museum is a small outdoor garden. It's an amazing place to think, neatly in central Paris, but also apart, hidden from the rush of daily life. This visit, I spent a long time with this sculpture by Germaine Richier--it's called La Chauve souris (The Bat), part of a series of woman-creatures she created just after World War II. When asked about the tears in the sculpture's wings, Richier wrote, "that's where the light passes through."

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This poem was inspired by the painting Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton. This recording is from a reading I did with poet Kate Noakes, in London, England, last year. There was snow on the streets


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