P I CTURES FROM A L I BRARY: 2
‘Art to Enchant’: Shakespearian Iconography
These images are well known within the iconography of Shakespeare. The first, referred to as the Grafton portrait, is by an unknown English artist and throughout the twentieth century was thought to be a true representation of William Shakespeare as a young man. Recent scholarship has been unable to substantiate this claim. The proof cited in its support is that an inscription on the portrait, dated to 1588, tells us that the age of its subject was twenty-four, thereby making him an exact contemporary of Shakespeare.
Between proof and painting, the person portrayed and the viewer of a portrait are caught in the same psychological force-field. Almost transformed, through the intensity of such an encounter, from an inert work of art into a living being, a portrait can become a magical space. Here a person looking at a picture can conduct what Richard Brilliant describes as ‘a peculiar sort of communication with the person painted’. Starved of facts of Shakespeare’s life and dazzled by the potent presence of a beautiful young man resplendent in crimson and curled tresses, is it surprising that some, despite lack of evidence, are willing to accept the Grafton portrait as a depiction of the bard?
In contrast, the engraved portrait by Droeshout from the title page of the First Folio is one of the few images of
A portrait of an unknown gentleman, known as the Grafton portrait, 1588, by an unknown English artist, oil painting on oak panel, 445 × 385mm. Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester.
Shakespeare that has always carried a stamp of authenticity, coming, as it does, with endorsements from Shakespeare’s friends. It therefore masks its fictions through the authority of likeness. Engravings, after all, were never worked from life but from the intermediary of a painting or drawing. Other clues, charged with symbolic power, reveal that portraits, like poems, function as systems that conform to and shape the expectations of their genre. Commentators have, for example, drawn attention to the way Droeshout has pictured his Shakespeare with a pronounced, bald brain-box that, bathed in an effulgence of light and almost preposterously detached from his puny body, emphasises his prodigious intellectual prowess and genius. So, like Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, even when faced with a true likeness ‘we are mocked by art’.
Engraved portrait of William Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout from the Rylands copy of the First Folio, 1623. Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester. CONTENTS
inside cover: Stella Halkyard Pictures from a Library 2: Shakespeare
2 Editorial 3 News & Notes 5 Letters from David Kuhrt, Ian Brinton, Elaine Feinstein,
Samuel Klonimos, Michael Cullup, Evan Jones
Neil Powell 7 Minding Our Language Judith Chernaik 8 Going Underground
David Kuhrt 9 The Forgotten Cultural History of the West Sam Adams 11 Letter from Wales Frank Kuppner 13 Why Not Just Tell Us?
Sinéad Morrissey 15 Four Poems
Tara Bergin 22 Three Poems Owen Lowery 23 Five Poems
Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton 31 Three Poems
Vénus Khoury-Ghata 39 Eight Poems (translated by Marilyn Hacker)
Val Warner 40 Two Poems David C. Ward 44 On a Landscape Turned Red
Joey Connolly 48 Three Poems Jee Leong Koh 53 Five Poems
Simon Jarvis 54 Three Poems Nick Telfer 55 Two Poems C.K. Stead 61 Four Versions of ‘Motets’ by Eugenio Montale Tuvia Ruebner 65 Four Poems (translated by Betsy Rosenberg)
Jo Haslam 56 Two Poems Alex Wylie 68 Four Poems
Chris Miller 18 Death and the Mnemonic Muse William Boyd 25 In Conversation with Frederic Raphael Peter McCarey 33 Squink: Reading J.H. Prynne Anthony Caleshu 42 James Tate’s Recent Prose Poetry
Iain Bamforth 45 Catchwords 15
Ben Smith 50 The Songlines of Alice Oswald and Thomas A. Clark Tony Roberts 57 The Last of England: Four Portraits of Ford Madox Ford Tara Bergin 62 In Conversation with Francis R. Jones George Watson 66 C.S. Lewis on Metre
Andrew Hadfield 69 on Stephen Greenblatt Matthew Creasy 70 on Ashbery’s Rimbaud
Mark Dow 71 on Marjorie Perloff Tom Docherty 73 on Robert Fraser’s life of David Gascoyne Andrew Walls 74 on Eavan Boland
Katy Price 75 on Norman Cameron David C. Ward 76 on William Logan Emma Hogan 77 on Carol Rumens and Lawrence Sail Sasha Dugdale 78 on Doris Kareva, Luljeta Lleshanaku and six Slovak poets Rory Waterman 80 on Michael Glover, John Lucas and Robert Nye Alison Brackenbury 81 on six pamphlets
83 Some Contributors
Cover image: A Sextant for the Renavigation of Astrolabe, © Gregory O’Brien 2012
Subscriptions (six issues): £36.00 ($86.00) individuals £43.00 ($105.00) institutions to P N Review, Alliance House, 30 Cross Street Manchester m2 7aq uk
central books ltd, 99 Wallis Road, London e9 5ln email firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2012 poetry nation review
All rights reserved issn 0144-7076 isbn 978 1 84777 174 2
General Editor michael schmidt Co-ordinating Editor helen tookey News & Notes Editor eleanor crawforth editorial address: Michael Schmidt
Carcanet Press 4th floor, Alliance House
Cross Street Manchester m2 7aq uk
Manuscripts should be sent to the editorial office and cannot be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed and stamped envelope or, for writers living abroad, by an international reply coupon.
Typeset in Ehrhardt by XL Publishing Services
Tiverton, Devon Printed in England by SRP Limited, Exeter