For my father's birthday I decided to make him a set of six small papercuttings inspired by my favorite poem, Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." I chose six lines from the poem and tried to capture them in illustrations cut into cardstock. Each one is the size of an ATC (2.5" x 3.5"). Here's the full set:
And here are close-ups of each individual one:
The first line of the poem: "Let us go then, you and I." I think this is, composition-wise, probably the dud of the set, but I'm too lazy to redo it. :-)
"Do I dare disturb the universe?" Technically that's a galaxy rather than the entire universe, but I only had 9 square inches to work with. ;-)
(Whoops, just realized I put them in the wrong order in the picture of all six! This comes before the next one instead of after.) This comes from my favorite part of the poem: "I should have been a pair of ragged claws / scuttling across the floors of silent seas." You may be able to tell it was the first one I made, because it's the most detailed. :-)
"I grow old... / I grow old..." I like this one because it alludes to a few different lines from the poem: the bottom of his trousers are rolled, he's walking on the beach, and note the half-eaten peach on the ground.
"I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each." This is another one of my favorites.
This one's a little hard to read, but if you're familiar with the poem you can probably figure out that it's the last line: "[Till] human voices wake us and we drown."
Normally when I make papercuttings, I design them on the computer; this was the first time I've sketched them out by hand and sort of improvised my way through them. I'm really pleased with how they turned out (some more than others), and I think I'm going to teach myself how to screen print so that I can make a print of them to keep for myself!