The Manner of Our Going

First published on The Bubble (January 2011):

There is a poem in Andrew Motion’s collection The Cinder Path called “My Masterpiece”. The poet imagines that he is, in some other life, a Renaissance artist and describes his great work: a Madonna. This suggests not just the continuity of artistic endeavour across the centuries and between the arts, but something else as well. The master looks beyond his central motif, proudly informing us that,

… my real triumph
consists in the view
extending behind her,

the mile upon mile
of blue-green hills
with their miniature lives.

These lives are depicted in a few evocative and sympathetic strokes, showing us the importance of the everyday in creating a tapestry Continue reading