Tate Etc

Poem of the month: Cryptographer and Hesitate Poem of the Month

Tamar Yoseloff and Lorraine Mariner

This July Tamar Yoseloff presents a poem written exclusively for Tate Etc., Cryptographer, based on Cy Twombly’s Quattro Stagioni: Inverno, the Winter season from Quattro Stagioni (A Painting in Four Parts) This work is not currently on display in the galleries but can be found in the Tate Collection online

Lorraine Mariner also presents her poem, Hesitate, based on Bridget Riley’s work of the same name. This work is currently on display in Tate Liverpool and other works by the same author can be viewed on the Tate Collection online.

Cy Twombly, ‘Quattro Stagioni: Inverno’ 1993–5
Cy Twombly
Quattro Stagioni: Inverno 1993–5
Tate
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cryptographer
by Tamar Yoseloff

I string together little fables
in a language no one understands.

So much wounds me.
I wite it down, cross it out:

a formula for contentedness -
instead so much violence

They could kill me with a look

You come to me in dreams
blurred touch of you hand

Your name scrawled on every wall.
Your shadow stalks me.

How we got here I don’t know,
there is nowher else.

Winter obliterates us, dizzy light,
our white youth

Bridget Riley, ‘Hesitate’ 1964
Bridget Riley
Hesitate 1964
Tate
© Bridget Riley 2018. All rights reserved.

Hesitate
by  Lorraine Mariner

Don’t let those black
full-stops get the better
of what you’ve got.

Cut yourself some slack,
give yourself some shades
of grey

on a wave
that might just take you
beyond the end of the line.