Monday, May 12, 2008

The Poetry House

Probably the most famous Poetry House is detailed in Lester Walker's seminal tome A Little House of My Own: 47 Grand Designs for 47 Tiny Houses and is owned by artist Carol Anthony. It's a 26 square ft converted outhouse, with deck, where she goes to work or simply relax. "Solitude is necessary nourishment for any creative process to begin," she says, describing the shedlike structure as "a small, intimate slice of prose but representative of the bigger conversation of what I'm all about." It's a lovely build and worth the price of the book in itself (well, just about).

Pictured above is an equally lovely example, The Poetry House by sculptor Bruce Johnson (do click - it's a marvellous website, full of gorgeous pictures and a great gong). Inspired by a poem by Elizabeth Carothers Herron, Johnson constructed this smashing building (redwood, copper) as an architectural sculpture inspired by a traditional Japanese teahouse (now on display at the Paradise Wood Sculpture Grove in Santa Rosa). Lines from Herron's poem have been transcribed onto both the interiors and exteriors of the building."The intention is to imbue this small quiet space with poetry," she says. "Bruce created a space for reflection, for slowing down, for being more thoughtful, and poetry epitomizes that state of mind." Johnson adds: ""So what is a poetry house? I have come to feel that it is the empty space where attention prayers in a prayer wheel the invisible text has resonance."

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