Saturday, February 5, 2011

illustration friday (reverse)

I chose the following poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) to illustrate for this week's IF topic. It turned out to be a lot more frustrating than I had expected. Maybe I didn't really understand the poem at first. All those hyphens kind of confused me. But after a dozen disappointing efforts, I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. Do either of these versions work for you?

Reverse cannot befall
That fine Prosperity
Whose Sources are interior—
As soon—Adversity

A Diamond—overtake
In far—Bolivian Ground—
Misfortune hath no implement
Could mar it—if it found—


  1. Fascinating poem and illustrations.

  2. I'm struggling with the imagery for the second illustration but the art work is as usual imbued with a wonderful spontaneous,but thoughtful quality if you know what I mean!

  3. @Carole, it took me a while to remember why I picked that imagery... long enough that I began to wonder if I had put much thought into my choices at all. No wonder you were struggling with it. ha ha

    I *think* I drew the lantern because I associate it with the pushing away of darkness. I also experimented with images of various living creatures, like bunnies and small birds, that are vulnerable to the elements and to predators. Plus I thought the shape of the sparrow-like bird made a nice "container" for the diamond. I really wasn't thinking very deeply I guess. :p

  4. They are both lovely... my fave is the second.

  5. OK. Maybe I'm just not awake yet but this poem has me- here- and then I'm confused- yet enlightened. Vulnerable, yes- if I am found. To whom?-Adversity?-what?-I just don't know!

  6. LOL @ShizuokaGirl~ Parts of the poem still confuse me. But it reminds me of the Bible verse "store up your treasures where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20) So that's how I interpreted it.

    The "source of my prosperity" is like a diamond that "misfortune cannot mar."

  7. Wow what a bold undertaking Debbie! I like both works. As far as appeal, I’m leaning toward the bird, for meaning, the lantern... I can see many biblical undertones in both of these pieces. Light diffusing the darkness and God watches over even the sparrow. love that Verse you quoted in Matthew by the way. wonderful post Debbie!

  8. Something to contemplate. Thanks! I originally liked the bird best, but I keep going back to the lantern.

  9. I agree with Laurel about the varying weight of the lines in the text around the lantern. It's lovely! I also like the spontaneous feeling of that piece--the way the text fits into the spaces.
    In the bottom piece, I like that you can see the whole bird and the placement of elements makes a nice composition. Each piece has it's own beauty. You chose a wonderful poem to illustrate---that would be a cool assignment for IF!!!

  10. beautiful poem, and depiction. I was drawn to the bird, but after seeing the reason for the lantern, it becomes more meaningful. these are lovely!

  11. Whatever the reason, this lantern reminds me of something from my childhood...(I don't know what is that 'something', maybe my grandmother's house?) Love the grey/blue's "nijimi" to the paper!

  12. The top one does it for me, I thought it was the robot for lost in space at first, and you know what? It didn;t matter at all because the balance and dynamics are superb.

    The bottom one is safer and well balanced, but less on the edge perhaps?

    see you :)

    I like your work