Ice Friday: John Williams’ “Augustus”

Attributed to Horace from Maecenas in John Williams’ Augustus: 

I decide to make a poem when I am compelled by some strong feeling to do so–but I wait until the feeling hardens into a resolve; then I conceive an end, as simple as I can make it, toward which that feeling might progress, though often I cannot see how it will do so. IMG_4514And then I compose my poem, using whatever means are at my command. I borrow from others if I have to–no matter. I invent if I have to–no matter. I use the language that I know, and I work within its limits. But the point is this: the end that I discover at last is not the end that I conceived at first. IMG_4528For every solution entails new choices, and every choice made poses new problems to which new solutions must be found, and so on and on. Deep in his heart, the poet is always surprised at where his poem has gone.

1 thought on “Ice Friday: John Williams’ “Augustus”

  1. This is something we promote here. To start with a sketch or profile or maquette or idea/concept and then make many works and see how it evolves into something perhaps unexpected, but resolved – to be surprised by the results and to then reflect on where it needs to go next,.. a body of work has many working parts and so to make it whole is the never ending challenge.

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