Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning" (1930)

Paint, seven
Layers of color
Stacked in Sunday

Morning blue
Sky; then
Shadowed eaves,
Then becurtained,
Ledged windows
Facing from
The yet asleep,
The almost awakened;
Yellow. Black, white
On red, perhaps brick;
They still used
Brick in 1930.

Then layer of floor
And ceiling, bottom
And top
To separate the
Sleeping from
Empty stores, all
Commerce ceased.
They still closed stores
On 1930 Sundays.

Sand-colored sidewalk,
From sand-colored street
By thinnest of
Shaded rises.

And what of
Pudgy hydrant,
Fat with ready
And ribboned pole
Of barbers?
Vertical incongruities
Amid the horizontal,
The exceptions
To suggest a rule,
They, too, cast
Their horizontal
Shadows, the rule
Flowing even
From the exceptions.
Or do the shadows,
Transparent stains
On sidewalks,
Cast hydrant and pole?

Early Sunday morning
Of angled sun and
Horizontal emptiness.
Empty street, devoid
Of movement;
Empty sidewalk,
Devoid of feet;
Empty doorway,
Devoid of welcoming
Empty windows,
Devoid of faces
Welcoming the day.
Empty sky, devoid
Of clouds or birds.

Only the shadows
Break the silence.

Early Sunday Morning (1930) by Edward Hopper; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York


Maureen said...

I like that the "pudgy" hydrant is on the diagonal with the barber's pole, which isn't quite sitting up straight, both parallelling the shadow above the eaves; the "2-2-3-2" rhythm of the windows and colored shades. I like how you layer the poem, as the poem is layered. One can feel the emptiness Hopper paints on canvas. Small town, a different time, an early morning just waiting.


Maureen said...

Of course, I meant to say, "I like how you layer the poem, as the painting is layered."

And I'll add, I like the idea of "stacked" paint. Quite a visual image.

Anonymous said...

you are the voice that broke the silence
that spoke words from the past
breaking the horizontal rules

L.L. Barkat said...

Again, so much to like. Here's just one (love the sounds)...

Sky; then
Shadowed eaves"

Hey, yes, I have brick near my 1930's driveway. :)