Poem/Painting #1: “Nightingale”

8/24/08, 12″ x 12″ x 2 1/4″, mixed media.

I Hear the Nightingale in the Tree

…but the nightingale
has no time to waste
for time does not exist for her
nor for the moon
nor for the very earth that turns,
but lo, the turning of my heart
when I think of all the miles
stretched between my love and me
twists
against the days and nights
that, parted from her
are so dark a waste.

– Ori Soltes

About the Poem/Paintings Series
When I want to begin a new body of work, I begin to think in terms of a series. In 2008 I decided I would like to find a group of poems which would be strongly visual like the poems of Wallace Stevens. I asked Ori if he knew any poets because his work touches me in two ways: he teaches art, but he is also a scholar in Jewish history and texts. He suggested that he himself had written a series of poems over the years, which he then sent me. I saw that they could be very visually stimulating, so it began . . .

About Ori Soltes
He is a Goldman Professorial lecturer in Theology and Art at Georgetown University. He has written nearly 250 books, articles, and catalog essays.

He currently teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. He has also taught across diverse disciplines for many years at The Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Siegel College in Cleveland, and other colleges and universities.