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10.000 x 14.000 x 0.100 inches
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A 21st Century Depiction Of A 1919 Yeats Poem
Bruce Combs - REACH BEYOND
Painting - Acrylic On Cardboard
This painting is my 21st Century version of the ending of W. B. Yeats' "A Prayer for My Daughter," 1919:
"How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree."
Yeats bases the poem on numerous references to varied folk-classical Greco-Roman-Irish mythologies of Daphne and Apollo, and with his deep involvement with long-standing Irish - British hostile politics and violent skirmishes. Along with that now hopefully remote complexity, Yeats' interweaves his own personal symbols and religious-political beliefs and biases.
In the basic story, Apollo falls in love with Daphne, godess of the moon, virginity, and forests. But as Apollo pursues Daphne, she is saved from rape by being turned into a Laurel tree. In some versions Apollo then is turned into a hunting horn! In Yeats' poem, this relationship represents something like a two-bedroom peacefull co-existence.
A few of our idealistic and literary contemporaries have adopted Daphne as a heroine of feminism, which I think is about as appropriate as their choices of our nearer contemporary artists, Frida Kahlo orand Georgia O'Keeffe. Among other historical details with that are problems with applying Freudian symbolism to either of those two artists' lives.
Before I ramble too far off, or get carried away, however, let me reassure you that I believe if you are interested in learning more about all that, get on your handy Google, or wherever. Peace, etc., Bruce
April 13th, 2012
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