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Selected Poems of Bill Hopkins

Bill Hopkins photographed by Ida Kar, 1955

293 words

XANADU

The name of a mythical nowhere place
where impossible dreams may be enacted
is commemorated in double doors
of delusion
and windows awry
that portray
— in abstraction —
the magnificence of its happy madness.

CLAUDIAN LANDSCAPE

The terraces, ruined castles and waterfalls
always featured
in the romantic eighteenth-century landscapes
of Claude Lorrain –
but which nevertheless
goaded Turner to jealousy –
are derided here
in abstraction,
guying the calculated formula
behind the ‘artless’ picturesqueness.
It is the god-humoured joshing
of one artist
by another.

HEROIC HEAD

The helmeted and visored structure,
referring to the classical images
of all legendary warriors
from antiquity,
in this case
ironically encloses emptiness.

The work poses the question:
“Was there ever anything more?
Is heroism only on minstrel’s lips,
and the actuality
an emptiness of fear?”

SOFT PERCEPTIONS

An insect-like construction
staring out interrogatively,
it is also inward-looking.

A dominant force
held in a stasis of reflections,
it offers a sphinx-like air
by offering itself for appraisal,
but
at the same time
appraising too.

In green bronze,
we are offered an enigma
in waiting and expectancy
without further explanation.

SALUTE TO HENRY MOORE

(For Defending Brian Willsher’s Work Against the Authorities)

In this sculpture
commemorating his bruising encounter
with Government bureaucrats
in 1968
who declared outrightly
that his work was not recognised
as sculpture,
Willshire savagely gives
a Behemoth’s mask
to all bureaucracy,
incarnating its idiocy,
ignorance and brutality
in an indelible image.

THE PRINCE OF WAR

A classic work
combining the symbolism
of martial leadership,
war and heroism
pensively compounded
in an unfurled & flowing flag
of bronze,
interrupted only by a rapacious megaphone
given to oratory;
exhorting patriotism,
self-sacrifice,
destiny, and etc.

Source: http://www.rosenoire.org/poetry/hopkins.php

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