Often, I don’t choose a work of art. It chooses me. From childhood I have been fascinated with artworks and evocative language. I find it strange but thrilling when a sculpture beckons, a painting demands I pay attention, or a piece of music asks: “You know what I’m talking about?” Through poetry, I can invite readers to walk into paintings, time travel through sculpture, and eavesdrop on conversations I have with artists. Enter a roaring boxing ring in Washington D.C., scramble into forty-thousand-year-old cave paintings in Indonesia, picture yourself in a harem’s den in Algiers. A bronze globe, an avalanche, a Greek god— all provide image and metaphor for considering what it means to be mortal. They shed light on fears and fantasies, opening up views of an inexplicable world as only poetry can.

Artscapes Poems by Lee Woodman


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