Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know"

Until the word "serenely", Lord Byron's poem seems to prophesy Amy Winehouse. Perhaps the last eight lines are also apt, if we read them as what lies beneath her shadows. Certainly Amy and her art present a nocturnal beauty.

She was a flawed creature who thought herself ugly and who wrote "You Know I'm No Good." She was wrong.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.


Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) left us two distinct and impeccably produced albums, with a dozen or more songs yet to be released.

Girl Smoking by Wilhelm Sasnal, 2001. Sasnal is a realist not in the way he paints, but because he only paints what he has seen. When I came across this, I spent a long time studying her shocks of hair and the defiant turn of her neck. Click on the picture for a closer look.


Crosby Kenyon said...

What I like about the painting is that I'm pretty sure I know what her eyes look like without ever having seen them.

TallTchr said...

Crosby, that's a terrific comment. I agree.

DUTA said...

1. The triple description of mad, bad and dangerous usually fits a man. Indeed, this description belongs to Lady Caroline Lambert's description of a man - her lover, Lord Byron, the poet.

Amy Winehouse (may she rest in peace!) was a weak soul. It is the weak that find 'strength' and 'solace' in smoking, drinking, and drugs.

Apparently, her parents, like many other parents in this permissive society were not able to help her overcome her bad addictions. How tragic!

I feel very sorry for the loss of such a young and gifted human being. I also feel sorry for her parents whose life will be from now on a long , tormenting agony.

2. I guess the face of the woman in Sasnal's picture is as beautiful as her head and neck.

However, not being a man , while looking at her, I'm thinking not about the physical attraction of her feminine profile, but rather about the danger of her loosing that beautiful black hair as a consequence of the diseases caused by her smoking.

TallTchr said...

Duta, I've been thinking about her family, as well. I get the idea that they loved her very dearly, but I don't really know since I rarely look at celebrity news.