‘She just survives’

—Griselda Pollock describing Alina Szapocznikow


She does

a drawing of herself. Her face floating


in these objects

on the floor. I feel this

intense desire


to live with it, puzzle it out.

She’s speaking


the body. She makes the sculpture

inside the mouth.


They want the lamps, the penises, the flowers,

the fruit, with no sense


there’s something

troubling there. She is daring


to stay close

to these forms but nonetheless seeking

to escape them (into joy).






Note: this poem is composed of phrases—with some adjustments—from Griselda Pollock speaking with Katy Hessel on The Great Women Artists Podcast, episode 50.


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