ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A POEM
During my Visual Communication course, I had to create a handmade book with illustrations for a chosen poem. It had to be an interactive book. I worked with a poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, an English poet. To me, the poem is about the passing of time, reflection on life, regrets and promises. There is a mystery of the narrator age. Is it an old lady looking back at her life? or is it a very mature young person making decisions about her life?
I built the book like an accordion, so the illustrations could fall from one to another creating a story. Covered it with Financial Times, which is printed on pink paper, the colour has faded away now …
I put seeds and leaves of a linden tree in the background of the illustrations with an idea of creating an impression of a circle of life in nature. From the seeds at the start of the poem towards the falling down leaves at the end of it. The narrator talks about wearing purple, I tried to place purple or pink in most of the pages, also used pink ribbon to wrap the book, as pink is considered very girly and youthful colour.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.