“What is art if not visual poetry?” I couldn’t agree more with Emily Gosling, author of the latest article from Creative Boom. In it, she describes the creative process of the artist Robert Perkins and his collaborative efforts with contemporary poets of the 20th century. His artworks, which range from paintings to collages, feature a single defining work of poetry from famous writers such as Seamus Heaney, Robert Lowell, and Allen Ginsberg. Some of his art also features less-known poets like Claire Cube and David Whyte, but by joining his illustrations with their written work, he introduces those poets to new and appreciative audiences.
Whether your favorite poet is featured or not (several of my favorites are present), it’s worth viewing each artwork and taking in Perkins’s vision for both art and the written word. As Gosling mentions early on, art is visual poetry, but I would add to the idea that poetry is language at its most aesthetic. Poetry is known for its appeal to the senses—the way words sound and produce song against one another, the architectural alignment of lines and stanzas, how the language and meaning of a poem seems to course down the page from start to finish. In essence, poetry is the best of literature’s great designs, and so much more can be learned from poetry when joined with the “visual vocabulary” of Perkins’s artwork.
Article: “Robert Perkins’ stunning artworks inspired by 20th century poetry legends” – Creative Boom