is the untitled first poem in the series. Before this we have the painting of January by Marcel Herms. As this is a collaboration and not “writer and illustrator” Marcel has his own way of looking. He depicts Roman Janus, the two faced god, who looks front and behind, at the old year gone and history, at the new year to come and the future. And importantly the words “open, close” in the bottom left, as if there is a door to the year.
Janus was the god of gates and doorways. This sequence was never planned. The “correspondences” are accidental. “Doorways” appear throughout, for example when I talk about the oak tree, groves, ideas entering our heads, caves and the thinner parts of the year.
My poem makes reference to the plough breaking up the frozen earth and its rolling like a slice bread, hinting at what is to come. I am not going to decipher it line by line, just say that the themes of the land as being like the sea and the plow like a ship are picked up in the second volume “The Headpoke and Firewedding”.
Marcel complements the poem with two birds in broken shells, though they could be small ships. I love the expression in their eyes. Very funny. One may be an adult bird, the other its chick.
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