The Romp Pomp Bunter is a Curious Cat: If you give him a toy, he would prefer a bottle cap, If you offer him a play, he would rather sit by the window atop, If you feed him a chicken pate, he wants a tuna fillet.
The Romp Pomp Bunter is a Green-Eyed Beast: He wants you to be with him when you don’t, He wants to eat what you eat when he shouldn’t, He wants to play with you when you can’t.
The Romp Pomp Bunter is a Timid Kitten: He would startle at the drop of a needle, He would tremble at the sounds of rain, He would tremor when birds flap the wings.
Yes, the Romp Pomp Bunter is a Curious Cat, And there’s no use in changing him anyway. For he will do so as he does so, and that’s that, And there’s nothing you can do about it!
Although art is territorial, it’s never divisional; it crosses over the branches of art and begets a hybrid of wondrous beauty that spreads through the mind of the beholder and lingers there in alterations, evoking an arch of endless imaginations and a well of inspirations, appealing to our human faculty that is rather physical than metaphysical, sensual than intellectual. It’s a mating of the Senses, a marriage of Reasons perfected in letters or paintings, all in the mastery of stories, colors, and forms begotten by divine madness of artists copulating with a sensation of the flesh in putting a method of expression to its love bed of paper or canvas. Such a love child of arts results in Titan’s riveting masterpiece the ‘Poesie.’
Titan (1488-1576), one of the most celebrated artists of the Italian Renaissance, created the ‘Poesie,’ a cycle of 6 mythological paintings inspired by Ovid’s ‘the Metamorphoses,’ stories about famous mythological figures in poetry, which was the very reason that Titan chose it as his subjects. Originally commissioned by Phillip II, the life-sized portrait of whose father Emperor Charles V catapulted Titan to stardom in European courts, the ‘Poesie’ gave him the artistic freedom to experiment with different styles of painting incorporating secular subjects that attracted the welcome attention of intellectually ambitious aristocrats. The ‘Poesie,’ meaning poetry in French, is a hexaptych of human emotions expressed in mythological figures that are all too familiar and universal common to all human creatures. It displays the vagaries of human emotions, ranging from euphoria to anguish, passion to regret, and greed to pain, all the artistry in each of the paintings. Titan wanted to create the visual equivalent of the poetry in which Venus burning in passion for her young object of desire Adonis, Europa ravished by Zeus in a bull’s hide, Actaeon chancing upon Diana’s bath and other divine and mortal beings, such as Danae, Perseus, Andromeda, and Calisto intermingled in sensual pursuits were to be translated by strokes of a brush, plays of colors, and dramas of human feelings and emotions. In fact, it is this Titan’s talent both as a storyteller and a painter that sets him apart from his contemporaries and renders the work immortally enshrined in the atrium of universal arts.
The ‘Poesie’ is currently on display in London’s National Gallery exhibition for the first time in over 4 centuries, following an example of Vatican’s concomitant display of Raphael’s tapestries at the Sistine Chapel. Notwithstanding the thematic and geographic differences, the works of the masters delight the eyes of ours as harbingers of art as artifacts of human civilization consisting of the standard of taste and reason universal in all human creatures as regards the principles of judgment and sentiment common to the eyes and minds of all mankind.
I was angry with my foe
I hid it, my ire did grow.
And I tendered it in fears,
Day and night with my tears:
And I dried it with smiles,
And with false whispers.
And it grew day by day.
Till it bore a peach pretty,
And my foe saw it ripen
and knew it was mine.
And into my secret garden,
When all’s veiled in the dark;
In the morning delighted I see;
My foe trying to reach the tree.
Author’s note: This is my take on William Blake’s “A Poison Tree.” I have to write this before saying goodbye to today and hello to tomorrow, lest all negative feelings should remain in my mind’s garden. For it is how I feel sometimes… But do we not?…
‘Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I?’ Iris, the interrupted woman whose inverted elitism outed her of the quotidian pleasure, was finally on the verge of private rebellion against the lofty isolation from the world that beckoned her yonder with an alluring panoply of all things sensuous, tactile and visceral, like the tempting fruit from the tree of knowledge. The more she thought about the mysterious man’s Byronic face with Olympian physique, the stronger the flame of her heart grew. It’s really a foolish heart, thought Iris, but when she had no other than a woman’s reason and thought him so, who could berate her? Call it the affair of the heart or whimsical infatuation of the beauty that looked so patrician, so elated, and so untouchable. Yet, her heart was telling her that this time she should surrender to the power of the human nature by letting the force of desire besiege her solitary castle and infiltrate it in all corners without mercy of the inter-cultural code of ethics built on the puritanical dictatorship of the body and the soul.
Consumed in the flame of passion, the soul of Iris was in communion with that of Dido, who loved Aeneas more than he loved her. Poor Dido- She deserved a better man who could return her love, for she was beautiful inside and out. Silly Dido- She should have moved on even after her lover deserted her for the glory of his predestined royalty in a new land. Dido was a woman of passion, and so was Iris. They lived on the idea of love and must have figures of love, for that’s what gave them perks of life. But at least, Dido had Aeneas, and her love was consummated in the cave on a stormy day, albeit it was all staged by Venus, the goddess of love and the mother of Aeneas, and Juno, the ever-jealous goddess. Dido’s love was actualized even for a short period of time when she was alone together with Aeneas. Alas! Poor Iris, I knew her, my dear readers. It all seems to me now that Cupid’s arrows took aims at her, but not the figure of her love. Her love was alone, her existence was always invisible, and she was not allowed the joy of love. Iris was dissociated from a parliament of Love, a congress of lovers.
It was said that the idea of love to the classical Athenians was primarily erotic, rather than platonic, instinctual rather than spiritual, physical rather than mental. What we now understand about love was no more than a close bond between family members or a master and a horse or a dog. What Iris was feeling now was a combined love of Eros and Agape. She wanted the wholesomeness of love, as in the union of Cupid and Psyche. People would think that she was disinterested in love because of her beautiful but austere look that prevented people from being jovial with her. She never told her love to anyone but let concealment feed on her damask cheeks. She pined in thought with a green and yellow melancholy with solitude as her steady companion.
She writes, and speaks to a soul in many sorts of music. She sometimes invokes inspirations from her favorite Muses: Kalliope for epic poetry; Clio for history; and Euterpe for lyric poetry. In fact, she feels most ecstatic when the divine inspirations become one with her body and soul creating the ineffable rapture of the body and elevating the excitement of the soul in zenith. She is no less a dilettante of amateur music aficionado and an apprentice of alchemy of literature and history than Seraphina by herself.
She also has a secret: that she practices her secondhand acoustic guitar she bought from a traveling troubadour who with his finely cultivated artfulness of sweet talking laced with a streak of medieval chivalry, tempted her to possess it three years ago at a reasonable price of $100. And it turned out that the crafty troubadour was a nice sort of reprobate who could make your otherwise bleak life a bit more cheerful and jovial to live because Seraphina loved the guitar at first blush and has played it since the farewell of the sportive wayfarer.
Seraphina is an Aquarius, and therefore an independent beauty. She is an autodidact and is at best when she’s least self-conscious and left alone. She has been teaching herself to play the guitar in hope of playing the songs she loves flawlessly by changing the chords swiftly in keeping up with the rhythms. One of her repertoires for her guitar practicing is “As Tears Go By” by Rolling Stones – not the version of Marianne Faithful – It is another secret that Seraphina sings the song while playing the guitar in her room, and she loves the moment of doing it because she feels like a Jane Birkin or a Joni Mitchell or a Francois Hardy.
Kurt Vonnegut once said, “To practice any form of art, however good or bad, is to make your soul grow, so do it.” In accordance with such supportive tenet of art, Seraphina thinks that it’s all about unlocking the artist from within. Surely, not everyone of us can’t make our names marked in the world, but then each one of us is something of a creator of a life. In her ideal firmament, being an amateur artist means being able to create her own artistic world unsullied by the material demands of life that often yield myriads of existential vertigo. But then who would know what might bring Seraphina into changing her weltanschauung in future? After all, we think we know what we are, but know not what we may be. In the brevity of life, Seraphina thinks to herself, ‘Sweets to the sweet: Farewell to worries!’