Poetry Month Challenges Day 3: Beauty and Barbarism

Barbarism in Beauty by Maria L. Berg 2023

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.


Beauty & Barbarism

It was fun to see that “Beauty” was also the topic over at the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge site where they talk about the beauty of resilience.

Beauty  is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

This definition says beauty is present in the thing, and gives pleasure and satisfaction through shape, color, and meaningful design and pattern.

Barbarism is an uncivilized; wild; savage; crude state or condition, not conforming to classical standards or accepted usage

Due to Pop Culture when I hear the word “Barbarism” I think of:

Beautiful Barbarism

But if you look at the definition, barbarism is a state of not conforming to standards. In this way it contradicts with beauty which does conform to standards, especially standards of symmetry and balance.

Today’s Images

To find the beauty in barbarism, and the barbarism in beauty, I can replace sleek curves and lines with crude forms that don’t conform to classical standards. I can use motion to put beauty in the wild and claw at the picture plane.

I used a transformer filter I created last year with tiny brads so I can change the position of the torso and swivel the head. I think the curves created in the overlapping patterns are beautiful, and when I open up the cuts in the torso and head it creates an unconventional, alien barbarism

Beauty in Barbarism by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite.

I recently read Complete Poems of Marianne Moor and copied a few of my favorites. For today’s poem, I chose “When I Buy Pictures.”

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to write a connection poem.

The Poem

After You Sell Reality
~after Marianne Moore

and what will be further from deceit
after you ignore this of which you won’t disregard yourself as the real giver,
you break under what wouldn’t take your pain in your extreme hours:
the serious essay about boredom out of which acquiring isn’t unknown
any more than the blandness of the unfeeling
and very much the same—the new place, the modern plain shoe box
outside of which there are feral cats with guts growing like the face of a clock,
and bucks and fish and standing beauties;
they won’t be less than a circle of tile; the fantastical fiction,
out of numbers lying together under a cedar-ish enclosure;
a pomegranate in twelve copies of red; a fennec-armed book cipher whole;
the gold free-ranging Eve alive, or Gabriel releasing Eve’s ankle.
Not jovial enough, a physical gloss under that barbarism connects to the pain of many.
They might promise to arm everything; and might the condemned lose, not recognized with difficulty—
this which isn’t minuscule or the same thing that isn’t great.
They move toward that: of specific connection they aren’t,
they might not be “extinguished without dull sounds from the death of places”;
they might ignore the scientific homeostasis which will destroy them.

2 thoughts on “Poetry Month Challenges Day 3: Beauty and Barbarism

  1. Visiting from A-to-Z and NaPoWriMo too! Loved your take on beauty and the turning-it-on-its-head Moore poem (I went looking for the original and read it on Poets.org.. love the artichoke to pomegranate twist, the title itself, and well every other line too!!)
    My B post is here

    Liked by 1 person

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