Monday 15 July 2013

John Pule's poetry

Went to a John Pule exhibition Sadness Spirit at Pataka - 18 poems on big sheets of thick creamy paper, pinned directly on the wall, no frame, blue handwriting on white paper, the blue ocean-deep, deep deep.  The poems are all reproduced in the catalogue, albeit in the wrong colour, unbelievable. The catalogue is given away free - and that is generous.

John Pule himself read his poems, "No second-hand words", he said.He also said that he wanted people to think of them as proverbs, something they might say to themselves in the morning.
Here is an easy one to do that with, which stayed with me since I saw it:

You can see that the colour is not a beautiful blue. Go and see the exhibition for yourself, preferably on a day when there are only a few people there.
Also read in the catalogue the list of awards he has received, the list of exhibitions, the honors. Sometimes the powers that be do get it right. If he is affected by his success - which he must be, though in which way? - it does not show.
Was disappointed in Pataka: they did not provide him with anything to put his papers on, nor make any effort to provide some quietness - we listened to the poetry against a loud hubbub from people who were attending a launch of another show nearby. Pule himself seemed untroubled.

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