The Instruments of Art


John F. Deane

A personal and deeply moving exploration of the poet’s experience of faith through suffering and love, which draws an analogy between the creation of art and God’s creation of the universe.

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The Instruments of Art uses poetry to explore the lives and works of Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh and others, the personal sacrifice involved, the singular vision and inspiration that set them in motion. God’s creation, some argue, is a work of art, and Christ’s life and death an expression of it. Deane follows this thread in a series of sonnets based on the Stations of the Cross. Another series of poems takes John the Evangelist, ‘the one whom Christ loved’, as the voice of a poet expressing the hard love and personal commitment demanded by Christ; Deane conducts this exploration experimentally, contrasting and complimenting it with his personal experience of faith through suffering and love. The Old Testament story of Jacob’s search for meaning is retold through the poet’s own memories of family and becomes an emblem of the universal search for truth and peace. This is a collection written by the light of faith yet shadowed by doubt; it develops an instinctive approach to art that offers an understanding in terms of the highest reaches of suffering humanity.

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