Progress banner sz.jpg

Progress, 2016

Red Hawk Bar & Grill, Ann Arbor

Adhesive vinyl on glass

 

A collaboration with poet Linda Gregerson and graphic designer Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo in celebration of National Poetry Month. For this project at a popular dining destination across from the University of Michigan campus, Gregerson selected a poem by Marianne Moore (1887-1972) titled “Progress.”

 

If you will tell me why the fen

Appears impassable, I then

Will tell you why I think that I

Can get across it, if I try.

 

The poem is configured to span the two front windows of the restaurant in versions readable from both sides of the glass on either side of a central mullion, inspired by the enjambment that hinges the poem at the middle--its crossing.

 

By using poetic text in a window installation this project challenges established notions of what a poem is and how it should be read. It explores the difference between a poem seen in its bubble of white on the pages of a book, read aloud in hushed silence or in the privacy of solitary thought, and a poem that is encountered as it floats in shifting light amidst shadows and reflections, shops and destinations, washed in weather and moving traffic, hovering in front of diners at their meal.

 

Vinyl fabrication by Dave Michalak of Imagecrafters, Inc., Ann Arbor