We all wish for the cloths of heaven – to be wrapped in tender understanding with a person we love and who loves us. The poems in this theme weave variations of these embroidered cloths. They present us with our hopes of affection and our misgivings, with the darkened moons of our troubled nights and the glow of our revived torches. They offer us solace in our pain, applying as pigments the figments of our dreams and spinning, like Fates, our fantasies. We choose to wear our cloths like warm winter coats against realities or share them with others as gifts of silk.
Redon’s works illustrate most of this theme. The lines are delicate, the colours at times so soft they can hardly be seen. In the third week, Gauguin’s painting – a darker counterpoint – shows us a lonely vision from our long nights of ashes.
Over the first four weeks, Ravel and Debussy’s music accompany us in our solitudes and our intimacies. Strauss completes the theme by offering us, in his melodies, the promise of another tomorrow shared in eternity.
We hope you will enjoy the variations of this theme, spread as they are under your feet – tread softly as you choose to button up or unfold the precious cloths.
London, 20 September 2014
Our selection of poems, music and images for all five weeks of this theme is available by clicking on the tabs above or through the links below: