Based on the poem "Because I could not stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson,
this painting attempts to bring Dickinson and her poetry into today's world
of pop culture by placing her, not in a horse drawn carriage, but in a vintage
checker cab. Also in the cab are William Shakespeare and Jack Kerouac, representing
different periods of poetry, both classics, and on the cutting edge of thier
time. The figures and interior of the cab are black and white while the exterior
is in color, a contrast between the present (outer) and past (within,) though
the characters still exist to a certain extent (though thier "color"
is gone) on thier own plane within. The carraige drives out of the picture plane
at sunset, representing the physical deaths of the poets, the somwhat slower
and incomplete deaths of thier genres, and the seeming death of poetry itself
in current popular culture.
April A. Fontaine is a self-taught artist living in rural New England, USA.
**Because I could not stop for Death -- Because I could not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me -- The Carriage held but just Ourselves -- And Immortality.
We slowly drove -- He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure
too, For His Civility -- We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess
-- in the Ring -- We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain -- We passed the Setting
Sun -- Or rather -- He passed Us -- The Dews drew quivering and chill -- For
only Gossamer, my Gown -- My Tippet -- only Tulle -- We paused before a House
that seemed A Swelling of the Ground -- The Roof was scarcely visible -- The
Cornice -- in the Ground -- Since then -- 'tis Centuries -- and yet Feels shorter
than the Day I first surmised the Horses' Heads Were toward Eternity --**