Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Muse: Poets Respond to Titian

More than a dozen poets from the United Kingdom have penned contributions for Metamorphosis: Poems Inspired by Titian, published this past June by National Gallery Co., which commissioned the poems for the National Gallery, London exhibition "Metamorphosis: Titan 2012". That exhibition concluded September 23.

The poets, selected by a panel headed by A.S. Byatt, were invited to respond to three of Titian's masterpieces — Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon (cover image), and The Death of Actaeon, which themselves were inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses

Among the poets are names both well-known and, perhaps, not so well-known to American readers: Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Jo Shapcott, and Patience Agbabi, Wendy Cope, Lavinia Greenlaw, Tony Harrison, Frances Leviston, Sinead Morrissey, Don Paterson, Christopher Reid, George Szirtes, and Hugo Williams.

Each ekphrastic poem is illustrated with a full-color image of one of the Titian works.

Nicholas Penny, formerly senior curator of Sculpture at our National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and now director of the National Gallery, London, contributed the Introduction.

To see sample pages from the book, go here (pdf).

The book may be ordered through the National Gallery's online Shop Art.

In this video, curator Carol Plazzotta and poet Lavinia Greenlaw talk about "the painterly poet" Ovid and "the poetic painter" Titian:


Listen to Seamus Heaney read his poem "Actaeon"; in the video below, he talks about writing the poem:

Readings by Poets (The videos also are available at YouTube.)

Extracts from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Translations by Ted Hughes)

Exhibition-Related Resources


Glynn said...

We saw this while we were there. It was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Seamus is soooo cute!