Last week I shared a few pictures of a pottery piece I was working on, a fish bowl, and quite a few of you expressed an interest in seeing the finished product. You can skip to the bottom to see the result but in the meantime the project caused me to wax lyrical. So here’s a poem I composed to go along with it, but first here’s a reminder of the work in progress.
What is beauty, and how is it defined?
And why do we see it everywhere we look, including the sky?
Surely it’s innate, not limited to those whose tastes are refined,
Since, as Shakespeare said, it’s in the beholder’s eye.
Is it really that simple? Take the Mona Lisa and her mysterious smile.
Her appeal has transcended ages
And prompted all sorts of wild speculations.
According to Freud, patron saint of psychiatric sages,
It’s her ample bosom that draws us in. B.F. Skinner, meanwhile,
Says we’re conditioned like rats to respond to her temptations.
Now I’m getting off the subject, but it’s difficult, as you can see.
If you try to take the Mona Lisa you’ll be arrested as soon as you touch it,
So instead just take my advice, which I promise you is free,
But you get what you pay for so don’t blame me if it breaks your budget.
Let’s get back to the issue of beauty now
And whether what it is can be answered simply.
Is beauty truth, truth beauty, and is it eternal or is it transitory?
And do we answer that question differently when we’re old than we do when young and pimply?
It’s an inescapable truth that what we once loved we might later disavow,
But that is another story.
*Apologies to John Keats, Ogden Nash, any other literati, glitterati, the Illuminati, and anyone stumped by this Gordian knotty
And here’s the finished product. It didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped but that’s the way these things go.