Monday, June 21, 2010
Shadow Poem for the Solstice
“To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie—
True Poems flee—“
~ Emily Dickinson ~ 1879
Today is the summer solstice. Two writers and an artist connect on this the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
Although centuries separate them and their creations, all three of their works are bound in lyrical and thoughtful beauty – a true synchronistic find.
Emily Dickinson, whose short poem opens this post, renders a timeless and appropriate nod backwards to Sijo poet, Kim Ch'ŏn-taek from Korea's classical period.
Ch'ŏn-taek’s poetry is tied together by contemporary artist, Jiyeon Song and her work of art, the “One Day Poem Pavilion, which was actually Song’s master’s thesis project in 2008 for the Media Design Program, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
The “Pavilion” is a simple shell-like architectural structure that utilizes sunlight along with carefully placed perforations that cast shadow-poems according to the solar calendar.
Each poem that is created from light and shadow moves slowly throughout the day and delivers a different message depending on the time of year.
Song says, “These slow messages offer the audience time to meditate. We cannot force it to go fast. We should wait. We live under the laws of nature. Slowness affords us time to rethink our lives which are finite and valuable. While the poem is revealed slowly, the meaning will resonate with the audience.”
See how it all works in the video below - it's truly brilliant!