Poet Jane Wohl’s new book, Learning from Old Masters is just out! Below is an interview with Jane about her latest:
1) Who are the Old Masters? I took the title of the book from the title of the first poem which is a long discursive poem that moves between Old Masters (Durer and Rembrandt) to understanding the reversal that must take place in the printing (etching and engraving process) , but it is also a poem about the connection between spirit and art… Many other poems in the book reference other artists from Andy Warhol to Mozart to the painters of the Lascaux caves.
2) What is the image on the cover? It’s Albrect Durer’s “St. Jerome in his Study”. I refer to this image in two separate poems, so it seemed appropriate for the cover, but also since St. Jerome translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew to Latin, the image seemed appropriate for a poet, since poets “translate” the world into words.
3) What are the main concerns of this collection? On the back of the book, my editor wrote “subjects both dark and glorious” and I like that phrase because these poems address the need for art ( of all kinds ) in our lives and the intersections of art and spirit but they also address the darkness that is often part of our lives… whether internal darkness, those late night thoughts of hopelessness, or the darkness of the world around us.