art by Arlene Kim Suda

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pay attention…

week 2: a coat

Posted on January 15, 2012 by aks

A Coat
by W.B. Yeats

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

To me, this poem is about shedding the egotism and attachment that can come from the creation process. In Yeats’ poem, I see the coat as a manufactured badge of accomplishment – and beautiful and desired as it may become, letting go can be the best way forward.

I also like the metaphor of making a coat for a song — since the coat could be many things such as protection, a place to hide, a thing of beauty and adornment, a status symbol…and a song, like the poet in Tagore’s poem ‘Guest’, is something so personal and intimate that arises out of love.

Coat (after Trajan Pro), acrylic on paper, 7 x 10-1/4 inches


Coat (after Avedon), pencil on paper, 12 x 9 inches


Coat, acrylic on paper, 10-1/4 x 7inches

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