Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Doves and. Machines

Let this blow your mind as it blew mine:

It is from the 1969 film Picasso Summer starring Albert Finney and Yvette Mimieux.  Adapted into a screenplay by Ray Bradbury from his short story “In a Season of Calm Weather,” it is set to music by Michel Legrand.  Despite a weak plot, the music and three animated sequences by Wess Herschensohn moved me no end!  Not only did they explore Picasso in a way that helped me to see his work more clearly, the one sequence above also widened my perception of war. After watching the above, I turned off the film to search it on the web, and found this:

and this:

Together, these three videos entered my life as Picasso's Guernica never had before!  In my search, I found that the creative reactions to Picasso's Guernica may rival commentary on any Shakespeare play.  

Here is my own:

Slate grey noon and rain in June
sat me down to pull war and people
from out my 2D cartoon-framed
vision in a sheltered life not Iraq,
Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Israel, Palestine and elsewhere. 
are gone but not foot soldiers engaged to
dishearten from land mines and hidden bombs:
providers, mothers, priests, and young ones with
explosives strapped to their childhoods.
are there too close to open-eyed blood we
pour in to food, zapping out strength and hope
drowning all openings to the villains’ millions,
         billions—not humans, but dollars—trillions.

Copyright © 2013 S.L.Chast

Posting for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night ~ Week 103.


De said...

Stunning, Susan. Just stunning.

Anonymous said...

The video was something like Plato's cave. Liked your poem also.>KB

Björn said...

Oh the horrors of war as depicted by Picasso are universal.. sure some tools have changed, but landmines and other instruments of war have replaced earlier tools ... a great write Susan

Anonymous said...

amazingly done. thank you so much for sharing this all~

Brian Miller said...


i watched the first...and will come back for the other vids...but your verse...so strong the images...the bombs strapped to their childhoods....and all coming back to the money...powerful verse susan.

Anand S Unni said...

Im caught searching for words to comment on this. So good. :)

Anonymous said...

The poem drew me in, and the line about explosives strapped to their childhoods made me shiver and touched me deeply.

Mary said...

Very moving, Susan!

kaykuala said...

Poignantly fascinating but truly sad. There can never be a finality to conflicts when man are divided through boundaries,greed and creed. Pity! Great thoughts Susan!


Truedessa said...

Wow, this was a very interesting video..caught in the madness. Your poem was raw with the horror's of war I think you captured it with the pen.

Heaven said...

Wow on the music and images from the video ~ I'm speechless dear ~ Thanks for sharing ~

grapeling said...


Susan, if you've not heard of Ludwig Meidner, he was a German Expressionist in the early part of the 20th century. In the years 1912 and 1913, he painted a number of landscapes that were eerily prescient of the coming war. The works, collectively "Apocalyptic Landscapes", depict chilling scenes of war and degradation, and might even be the equal of Guernica, especially in light of their predictions of the ensuing conflagration.

Sam Edge said...

Very moving.

Susan said...

Thanks for the reference. Turns out I have seen some of his work, but now I know the name and the overall effect.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

Gracias for sharing Picasso's Summer (1969 H.S. Grad/Vietnam draft) and your poignant recall to the absurdity of choices to go to war.

Unknown said...

I have a copy of Guernica in my study, and I as see it most days I remember *war* -- not wanting to distance myself from the horrors any more than I distance myself from the dancing children. "Your" video with with me -- your poetry -- you and Picasso and other creative souls. Thanks for weaving "it" and us together, with LOVE!