Tag Archives: poet

How Creativity Works (sometimes)

Chuck Redux stumbled across this poem by Frank O'Hara, one of mid-century America's great poets and critics, the other day, as one does when surfing the internet and over the intervening days as it has sunk in and had time to percolate, CR has come to think of it as a poem about the nature of creativity and thinks you will too.

Why I Am Not A Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES

Chuck Jones on Gift Words

The wonderful folks at ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive recently came across a 1974 article Chuck Jones wrote for them about being an artist, animator, poet, writer, musician (or anyone who works in the arts, for that matter.)  

Cjones
It starts with Chuck Jones describing a meeting between a young man and the poet, Robert Frost: 

"A young man was once sent fresh from Columbia University with a mutual friend’s introduction to Robert Frost. Frost scanned the young man’s writings, then looking quizzically up through his craggy white brows he asked, “What do you do, son?” The young man drew himself up proudly; he was, after all, one with the great Frost. “I am a poet,” he said. Frost gently answered, “The term ‘poet’ is a gift word, son; you cannot give it to yourself.”"

Jones continues at length about the importance of your work as an animator and what the possibilities are for animation in the now and in the future.  It's a fascinatingly good read, click here to read it!  To learn more about ASIFA-Hollywood, click on their name.  

P.S. There are also several awesome Chuck Jones layout drawings accompanying the text.