#WaysofSeeing50 #JohnBerger. Day Six: Fine Arts and Commerce” Photo Essay. In celebration of fifty years since John Berger’s “Ways Of Seeing” was broadcast in January 1972, I welcome writers and artworkers to join and contribute with Sarah Watkinson, Sarah Crowson, Cy Forrest, Yvonne Marjot, Anjum Wasim Dar and me in a week long look at what he had to say, and how we might ekphrastically comment on the artworks he looked at, particularly painting and photography. It would be ideal if you could read the book beforehand, but not necessary. The challenge will run from January 9th-15th, and use the artworks he used as a prompt for each day.

Anjum day six 1 wosAnjum day six 2 wosAnjum Day Six 3 wos

-Anjum Wasim Dar

The cannon in Magritte’s surreal painting fires

The cannon in Magritte’s surreal painting fires.
An exhausted maid sleeps on the job, ignorant.
She dreams on and on through time and through hellfire.

Nicolaes Maes paints her in sixteen-fifty-five.
René Magritte paints desire in thirty-seven.
The cannon in Magritte’s surreal painting fires.

Magritte’s Threshold of Liberty provokes ire.
Maes’ sleeping maid is nicknamed ‘The Idle Servant’.
She dreams on and on through time and through hellfire.

Her mistress says ‘What more can I do? She tires’.
No one envies the idle maid, a dilettante.
The cannon in Magritte’s surreal painting fires.

The mistress shrugs off her idle maid’s desires.
Her mind’s full of envious dreams of the day when—
She dreams on and on through time and through hellfire.

She dreams of a snow white shift and pleated attire.
The cycle’s reinforced by long working hours.
The cannon in Magritte’s surreal painting fires.
She sleeps on and on through time and through hellfire.

-Cy Forrest

Bios And Links

-Cy Forrest

is from Manchester but now living in Wiltshire. Poems in The Honest Ulsterman, IceFloe Press and The Wombwell Rainbow. Poems due to appear in Stand in 2022.

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