Art’s encounter elicits a multiplicity of responses, most of which are perfectly commonplace, barely penetrating superficial acknowledgment. This would be the main method of engagement for most people (including artists) most of the time, since no matter how much one loves or professes to love the arts, no one has enough time in the day to deeply engage with every work of art they come across. Indeed, many works of art don’t bother to ask such from the percipient in the first place, intentions notwithstanding.
Yet there is always the moment of real and lasting engagement. Sometimes this is due to the work’s undeniably high quality, and other times due to whim and circumstance, with works of varying quality. Sometimes, there is only the engager’s want, beneath which the art must break or bend – or transform. Let us consider Jessica Schneider’s poem “Theme de Camille”, from her 2022 collection, “Ekphrasm”. […]