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John Bruce took pleasure in the interconnection of the arts, and this is brought out in an amusing way by a remark he made when being interviewed about his stonework: "Particular stones or groups of stones become as important as the images and language of a poem. Before going to sleep at night, I often reflect on a perfect little collection of remembered stones which I then place and sequence in the process of building. A successfully conceived, long sequence of mortaring becomes rather like the structure of a massive sentence from Henry James." (Sandra Gwyn, "The Philosopher's Stones," (Gardens: the Magazine for the Gardeners of Ontario, winter 1996, 74.)

The same interest in a merging of arts is evident in an essay he wrote about the use of words in the pottery and sculpture of Margot Ariss: "Words and things are fused in an intense matching of extensive shape, texture, line and measure. The words are not simply decoration nor are the pots and sculptures mere vehicles for the poetry." "Margot Ariss: Words and things," 55 -56.

A related point, this time in connection with words and nature, emerges from the following poetic reflection on the act of writing poetry:

     POULTRY
     I can make with words
     Anything solid,
     The poultry for example,
     Sitting among the lilacs:
     One hen, nine chicks,
     The hen a golden and fire eyed
     Angel of Rilke's design,
     The brood, nine words
     Oval and smooth
     Poetry as syllables
     Ticklish in varieties of phrase
     Pecking for danger and
     Perhaps for all the world
     They are the signs
     If not the signatures
     Of all the sense there is
     And all the perlocutions of
     Some speckled grammar.

     ("perlocutions" — the action of speaking, utterance, elocution)


Art is the presentation of those very things of which we must be aware if we are to know the facts of any value situation. It is the revelation of a perspective...and through art, more than through any other medium, we experience the values and valuings of mankind. ("Art and Value," 133)


John Bruce's works copyright © to the author.


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