A Bigger Splash

A summery poem:




In Hockney’s painting, A Bigger Splash,

A sawn-off lemon board is shown:

From it, after a sudden dash,

Someone has dived, but is not shown.

The absence leaves us, incomplete,

Held cool by Californian heat.


The water, blue as Curaçao,

Is artificial too, and stainless –

Neither belonging to then or now,

Anaesthetic, perfect, painless:

The still spray’s silent as a scream,

As like white ice as it is steam.


Neither imperfect nor idyllic,

The swimming pool arrests the eye,

Its image, rendered in acrylic,

Offers water that’s almost dry –

But leaves a taste, like Absolut

Tarnished by unknown citrus fruit.

Hockney's iconic painting

Hockney's iconic painting


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