Painting is the peaceful negotiation with silence. Silence means the muted canvas where everything is seemingly over, where everything looked as if they omit in vain and none is there who can whisper that he exists to talk with the silent images a painting has carried on. Meaning of silence in a painting doesn’t mean the resonance what we have usually seen when we read poetry or enjoy the beauty of any other artwork. Suppose, poetry also negotiates with silence but a significant difference between them be remaining there. Painting cannot talk as poetry does; rather a painting piece prefers to stay silent in the muted space with its stoical face. We should remember the moral difference between two art-medium before going further.
… This is the landing zone of art ‘where everything is seemingly over, where everything looked as if they omit in vain and none is there who can whisper that he exists to talk with the silence.’ Without this poetry cannot get its end and painting can never be born.
… … …
We cannot use painting images for verbal communication or write something in a paper; even we cannot recite the images loudly. To the contrary, words also generate images in a poem, from where we dig the story and as well as the meaning of it, which we guess must hide behind the poetic images. Poetry propagates image by using fascinating words and all these words become silent when the image they have made seem enough to express the muted meaning of the poem. Image of poetry can make its reader deaf and dumb, so he can realize that no words are necessary when the image is complete. A complete image means nothing could remain after that except the silence, and poetry makes its own negotiation with it in this way.
What is the premier objective of any art-medium? The answer might be like this, it uses language as a carrier to express the feelings and tried to build images through this. Let remember the painting-like beginning scene of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film ‘The Mirror’. Margarita Terekhova has looked on the vast landscape sitting back on the nature-created fence; a man is peeping out to the bush and then passed over it to the near distance where she was sitting and puffing cigarette after a while. If we consider this dynamic image a painting object instead of the movie scene then it needed some words which can supply the clue that why she sits there from where a spiral country road also have seen. A hidden story must lay behind the muted scene that can talk on behalf of it.
Is Margarita waits for someone? Why she seated curvy on the fence? It seemed like that her sitting position and the way she is glancing to the oak surrounded filed, all lead her mind to remember something precious. It might be also true that she sits there just for nothing, though her glance from the rear is not said so. Confusions have arisen in our mind when we separate the scene and then freeze it from the subsequent that was coming next in the movie-frame to say why she sits on the fence and glancing like this. Soon after the scene is over, we heard the narrator’s voice (who is actually the son of Margarita Terekhova) and he supplied some clues where he said:
“The road from the station passed through Ignatievo, turning of near the farmstead, where we spent our summer before the war; and then to Tomshino through a dark oak wood, we usually recognized the family when they appeared from behind the bush; if he turns towards the house, it’s father; if not, it’s not he; which means he will never come again.” [The Mirror, Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, Released om 1975]
… ‘Life’s appearance and omission in the world, its presence or absence from the surface, all these are nothing but an illusion of our dizzy mind. Images have born and dissolved into the surface but the essence of images remains even after the annihilation happened. This essence might be the prehistoric element that never dies and that’s why images are born over to repeat the tiresome jingle of life.
… … …
It is now clear why Margarita Terekhova was sitting there. Narrator’s information now gives the movie scene a specific meaning, sort kind of story that when her mother seated on the fence she was being tensed with a hope that the bloody war didn’t take her husband away and he will appear from the bush to meet his family again. Her anxious waiting then achieved significance that she is now struggling with her little kid. It then appeared as a spider-net for the next images we’ve seen in the entire timeframe of the movie. This biopic-scene also satisfied our curiosity about Tarkovsky’s fascination for the nostalgic time; it also provides the clue that why he oftentimes made contrast imagery by using past images. Life is nothing but a jingle of melancholic memories and a true artist always tried to catch it in his optical sensors. A film is the combined collage of image, dialogue, music, and as well the background music. Compact harmony of all those elements is essential to trail the meaning of the movie; the movie director tried to compose all these essentials when he shoots and later edited the shooting footage by using his own artistry.
The image of an individual movie scene can appear priceworthy to its viewer, but the significance of that particular scene depends on its unification with the consequent and subsequent scene of the entire film. We know mobility is the primary element for all art-medium. Poetry achieved this mobility through its unique power of using appropriate words and idioms, since because they have an ability to build the complete image for it. A film also uses dialogue, expression, music and cinematic apparatus for it, so the viewers can feel mobility and get the messages when they watch the artwork in cinescreen. Meaning is profound here; poet and filmmaker show their artistry by making audible images in a poem or the movie scene. We can assume when the audible image seems complete to its readers or viewers, silence will begin from there. This is the birthing moment from where a painting could be born to talk with the silence.
The fruition of a poem or movie scene truly depends on the moment when the reader or viewer can attain suchlike point that now he is able to understand the meaning by going beyond the words and scenarios he was traveling so far. The moral of this attainment told us, words become muted in a poem or the movie scene when the image it builds appeared broad and inclusive to its admirers. A poet never succeeded until he knows the trick how to make his reader deaf and dumb through the images he made for them; and, the same is applicable for the filmmaker who captures 30 frames per second in his camera to deceive his viewers that they are now watching animated pictures instead of seeing still photography in the cinescreen.
… Where poems go silence a painting can sprout from this muted black hole. No painting is possible until unless the silence is becoming from the surface. This is the difference between two art-medium. When poetry muted in silence, a painting could be emerged from there with all its notorious image and assumption.
… … …
Anyway, the entire trick goes reverse when we see images in the painting canvas. Let remind what we said earlier: painting is the language of who cannot talk. The image in a painting cannot talk, nor does it make meaning by using words or camera apparatus. When we see a painting then we feel the muted silence in its surrounding. Poetry or movie scene cannot give us the same experience until reading or watching is complete, but a piece of painting forced us to feel the tacit silence from to the beginning. We feel the pressure that we have to break the silence so images can talk on behalf of the artist. Poetry or other art-medium first make noise through words; after that, they muted them by dissolved their noisy presence to the tacit beckoning. The feeling of silence is always a later event for poetry and all other art-medium. We can read the first four minstrels of noted poetrical work of Bengali poet Binoy Majumder‘s ‘Phire Eso Chaka’ (O the wheel, come back) for instance:
A dazzling fish fly once
apparently golden but eventually untarnished water
and then sink down again…by seeing this cherry event
the fruit becomes ripened crimson in a sap of doleful pain.
[Phire Eso Chaka, 8 March 1960 by Binoy Majumder, Translation: Self]
It is tough to catch the metrical imagery of this poem in English translation, which the poet made when he wrote this poem by using the beauty of Bengali language and its idioms. The first stanza of the poem helps us to realize how poetry finds its own way where it can sink down into the silence through the alluring composition of words one-after-another. The story of the poem is simple here. A dazzling fish once takes a leap to the pond or something like that where the water is actually transparent and usually it compared with crow’s eyes in Bengali idiom, even if it looked golden when the fish takes its flight to see what is going round to the outer world. The flying moment was sudden and ended in a moment; the eye-catching fish then returned to its original place where he used to live on.
We can presume the poet was there to see the event, but this is not enough to draw a complete image that could mute the words he uses to write this poem. He needed a landing point so it can help him to complete the image with meaningful significance, and then the fruit tree appeared there to fill his poetic desire. The fruit of the tree become ripened crimson in the sap of doleful pain to think about the fate of life. This is the moral stature of the poem where the images tried to touch the feelings that,—nothing exists as eternal in this eventful world; the lovely moments happened in here and soon it sinks down into the silence. The reader then sees him beside the crimson ripe fruit with shocking pain and grief; now nothing is audible there that could neutralize the pain a reader has got after this. This way poetic image become converted it into a painting. A painting can beget in a poem when no words have to be remaining there that can say something about how life is going through love or hatred. The image is enough there to feel all those elements with meaningful sagacity.
Poetry achieved its freedom by converts the words into images. True poetry forced its reader to draw the conclusion that no more words remain there except for the wave of tacit images. He has nothing to do except for surfing in the wave calmly as a reader of this artistry. Poetry is the dexterous artistry of how to make the conversion possible where words can carry the feeling that no words are necessary to mean the poetic images that might be the poet tried to mean when he made this. A reader feels something precious in his ‘within’ and wants to stay on there with a voiceless face;—this image is desirable for poetry like artistry.
Anyway, a piece of painting fulfills its desire by going a bit against of it. It desperately feels the necessity of words so that the frozen images on the canvas can tell their story to the seers. The meaning of a painting never could be reachable until the seer breaks the silence through his intellect. If he failed to deliver words about the silent images that mean the painting is not agreed to talk with him. If the seer abortive to break the frozen faces by hammering them with his inner visionary, it means the subjective characters of the painting is yet prefer to baffle him with notorious trickery. If the viewer feels naught to explore the meaning of any fragments of the painting, if he thinks the muted image is unreadable for him, only meaning could be remaining there and that is,—this painting yet like to stay on obscurity.
… … …
… Frost muted himself when he realized the truth that choice in life maybe unlimited but a human being cannot fill all his choice at the same time. The painter of the same image is unable to make such type of conclusion as Frost did when he wrote this poem with a baffling mind. That means a painting is the haystack of unfinished conclusion and that is its poetics.
… … …
The first job what a poet do he throw his words like a yeller, and then he himself muted his words soon after the yelling moments have passed. We can remember Robert Frost’s experience what he got during his ambiguous traveling moment in the woodland. His famous poem ‘The road not taken’ helped us to realize how the noisy words have gradually omitted from the poetrical space by giving birth of images in that empty space. The poet felt dizzy to think that he is now standing on such confusion where two roads meet each other and then diverged by taking two different paths. If he chooses one of them then another will remain untested for him. He has to be select one because a man cannot take both paths at the same time for traveling or reach his destination, though both roads have an equal chance of appeared good or bad for him.
The poet then thinks life-giver sent him with limitation. He made the human beings in such a way where they cannot travel both paths at the same time if they want to. His poetry ends there but the ending introduces a new beginning of the image from where silence could be the only language to realize the moral of this ambiguous journey. The image supplied the message to its reader:—our desire is unlimited but the choice is limited and predestined. Frost uses words to paint the allegorical feeling he got from the woodland:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
[The road not taken by Robert Frost]
Meaning of the poem is complete now and the image as well. We can say the two diverge roads are the landmark of human life. Words are futile to say more about it. When a person sees him in such dead-end then it told him to realize what life is, and hence he is bound to memorize the image over again so he can modestly keep silent in rest of his life.
Now have a look at the image Frost made in his poem, by considering it a painting instead of a poem and so on. Let imagine an artist painted two diverge roads and the poet as well; he stands on the estuary where both roads meet each other and then take their own path in the wood. Difficult to guess what meaning a seer can rescue from this muted painting. Nothing is there that can help him to make a solid conclusion as Frost did when he wrote this. The problem is critical here; no words or narrative is present that could supply some clues to its seer, so he can guess what is going behind the canvas now. The same task was easier for him when he saw the image in Frost’s poem. There the poet supplied clues through his imagery words; his reference helped readers to think about the fate of human desire and limitation of choice.
… Poetry is the dexterous artistry of how to make the conversion possible where words can carry the feeling that no words are necessary to mean the poetic images that might be the poet tried to mean when he made this. A reader feels something precious in his ‘within’ and wants to stay on there with a voiceless face;—this image is desirable for poetry like artistry.
… … …
Yonder advantage is not available in the painting scene. What the seer could do here that is he can guess several options to catch the muted meaning of this painted image. Yes, he can read it with multiplication, where the image may come to his sensor as a symbol of confusion, temptation, and emptiness. It is possible, the seer can relate the image by adding some mystic flavor to it; where he has ‘freedom’ to consider the spiral roads a symbol of good and evildoer and the poet a dizzy seeker of truth, who is now confused to think what road would be good for him to the end. As well as he can read the image in light of some spiritual salvation. Every option is feasible there because the painter didn’t put any specific meaning or message when he paints this, so every assumption is valid in that case. The image he paints is more powerful than the earlier image made by Robert Frost. The implication of the second image is open; it has flexibility, from where a seer can take all possible ways to mean it.
Frost’s wording was eager to clear the message may lie behind the image when he was traveling in the woodland. The painter who draws it in a canvas with the strong line and suitable color he has no alternative other than this; his paintbrush can only draw what he saw on that particular time of traveling. The poet can beckon the meaning through idiomatic words and appealing narration if he wants, but a painter can only beckon the muted event what he saw before and now tried to draw in his canvas. Frost clearly depicted his thought and utilized it to deliver his message in the poetry. In painting case, no way remains for the painter that could help him to clear the philosophy he moved by during his alluring moment of bafflement in the woodland. Frost muted himself when he realized the truth that choice in life maybe unlimited but a human being cannot fill all his choice at the same time. The painter of the same image is unable to make such type of conclusion as Frost did when he wrote this poem with a baffling mind. That means a painting is the haystack of unfinished conclusion and that is its poetics.
… … …
… Poetry or other art-medium first make noise through words; after that, they muted them by dissolved their noisy presence to the tacit beckoning. The feeling of silence is always a later event for poetry and all other art-medium… A painting can beget in a poem when no words have to be remaining there that can say something about how life is going through love or hatred. The image is enough there to feel all those elements with meaningful sagacity.
… … …
Where poems go silence a painting can sprout from this muted black hole. No painting is possible until unless the silence is becoming from the surface. This is the difference between two art-medium. When poetry muted in silence, a painting could be emerged from there with all its notorious image and assumption. However, sometimes the difference appeared sheer; sometimes both mediums embrace each other; and where we see poetry accompanied painting just like the notorious devil. Both art forms then seem blurry to the person who keeps his mind busy to travel on this. We can consider Jibanananda Das‘ poem ‘The Horse’ (Ghora) for instance. The imagery of this particular poem seized its reader in puzzlement and then throws him to sip some surreal notoriety. Let read the poem once:
We are not dying yet —even the birth of scenarios is often yet:
Mahin’s horses grazing in the moonlit night field of Kartik;
Those stoneage horses, yet greedy for grass, grazing
on the mashed Earth dynamo.
Smell from the horse stable floated in a rowdy night;
The sound of a depressed straw fall down to the steel mill;
The teacups as like kittens —now sleeping —mange street dogs
captured them blurred.
Moving beside to the cheap restaurant be frozen,
Paraffin lantern shuts off in the spherical horse stable
just because the tranquil whiff of time;
By touching the neolith-silence moonlit of all these horses.
[The Horse by Jibanananda Das, Translation: Self]
This poem is infamous for its witty images, where the appearance of prehistoric elements in today’s world reminds tiresome repetition of life on this planet. The message might be not tough to guess if we remember the essence of life what T. S. Eliot depicted in his ‘Dry Salvages’ with paradoxical tone:
There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
[The Dry Salvages, The Third poem of Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot]
‘Life’s appearance and omission in the world, its presence or absence from the surface, all these are nothing but an illusion of our dizzy mind. Images have born and dissolved into the surface but the essence of images remains even after the annihilation happened. This essence might be the prehistoric element that never dies and that’s why images are born over to repeat the tiresome jingle of life. Every new image is the resonance of old images; every newish venture somehow linked with the prehistoric ventures happened in the remote past. Images are the repeater of that ambiguity where nothing has gonna vanished for forever.
Both poets painted the same imagery in a different context. They deliver the same message but the ways of contrasting images are different. Eliot contrasts his thoughts about the fate of life with daily images, perhaps has seen on the seashore or elsewhere. Jibanananda made his contrast by imported prehistoric elements in today’s life surface. The image they have made it resonate the repeated feelings and that is: everything washed from the surface and not everything be washed; everything come back here and not everything be back again; except for the feeling that nothing could return as it is, until unless we think about ‘all this everything’ is actually ‘what it always was.’
… poet and filmmaker show their artistry by making audible images in a poem or the movie scene. We can assume when the audible image seems complete to its readers or viewers, silence will begin from there. This is the birthing moment from where a painting could be born to talk with the silence.
… … …
‘The Dry Salvages’ tried to talk by taking a philosophical tone if we compare it with Jibananada’s poem ‘The Horse’. However, what Jibananda has done in his poem that is the notoriety where prehistoric elements crumbled the imagery of the current world where we are breathing now. When he said, ‘Sound of a depressed straw fall down to the steel mill;’…such image reminds the resonance of past in the present surface; and the contrast he made in his poem it gradually turned to a painted canvas, where nothing remains after that except the ‘silence’.
This is the landing zone of art ‘where everything is seemingly over, where everything looked as if they omit in vain and none is there who can whisper that he exists to talk with the silence.’ Without this poetry cannot get its end and painting can never be born. We’ll talk about this in the next chapter, where we will try to follow some muted painting and maybe the poem as well.
… … …