29 January 2015

Poetry Thursday - page 235 of A Humument by Tom Phillips


Can a picture be a poem? This one can, if you go to the web page on which it appeared (click here) and listen to the author reading it. Hearing it adds that extra, sensible, dimension.

The picture is p.235 of Tom Phillips' A Humument ... which started life on 5 November 1966 and is now in its fifth edition, as the artist remakes pages. It has its own website, where you can get the book, prints, and even an app.

Here's a screengrab so you can see lots of images of it at once, as well as Tom Phillips in the bottom right corner -
Click to enlarge, or search for "humument" to see more
Tom Phillips (b.1937) is an artistic polymath -  his work, it says on his website, includes "painting (both figurative and abstract), opera (composer, librettist, set designer), concrete poetry and ornamental forms of writing, sculpture and site-specific designs (mosaic, tapestry, wire frame objects). He has also taken on several para-artistic roles – critic, curator, committee chairman for the Royal Academy, translator..."

He became an artist, the story goes, because while in primary school he heard the word artist and learned that an artist is someone who doesn't have to put his paints away - so he decided to become one.

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