Art, Wine, and “Logic”

Percival Everett’s Logic can have many meanings. More specifically, the poems may be understood as discussing art and wine like your average lifestyle magazine. Not to say these poems are not well written and beautiful, but I just think that these interpretations are especially interesting. While I picked up on the wine, my friend, Lauren Silverman picked up on the art, helping form this idea. 

First, I am going to start with wine. Now I first thought of this when I was trying to “unpack” what Everett meant when he wrote, “preserved in Paris maybe,” in poem four. It hit me here that wine can be stored for a long time before it’s bottled so that it tastes better, and that France is one of the major wine growing countries. Then, I noticed other hints of wine references such as “cellar” in poem five, the discussion of colors in poem four, the “olive skin” in poem three, and the “broken into pieces,” in poem one. The reference to the cellar can draw to wine cellars in fancy restaurants or homes. It talks about rats coming from dirty rags, which means there must have been something there to draw the rats to the cellar. I don’t know much about wine or rats but I have a feeling rats would be attracted to wine. The colors reference in the fourth poem could refer to the different colors of wine: white, and red. The reference to olive skin tones made me think of wine country. In places like Italy and Greece, grapes are grown for wine, and their native skin has more yellow undertones. The grapes grown are mostly used to make wine. Finally, the wine bottles can be easily broken into pieces, causing me to connect most of the poems under wine. I’m sure if I knew more about wine, I could find other connections, but the only things I know is stuff I picked up from my relatives. 

Next, I am going to discuss the connections to art. For this one, I’m going to discuss it poem by poem. The first poem I think is about the composition of art. When you are painting a picture, you have to divide your painting up into sections in a circular fashion so that your eye is constantly being drawn to different parts of the piece with one focus. Instead of asking about the focus, maybe Everett is asking “which way it points”, as in which way is my eye drawn. Also, the question if “it can be broken into pieces” can be a reference to the division of the work so your eye moves.  Everett asks directly about color, which is a major aspect of art. Even if the work is in black and white, it was the artists choice to use that color scheme. Art can also be compared to other art, so maybe that’s what the “host of familiar cases” is in reference to. In the second poem, all things are made up of molecules and atoms, so the art fits under that umbrella of all things. Also, when discussing parts, you can again be talking about the components of art: either in mediums or composition. In the third poem, it talks about parts, which lie the other poems can be used to discuss composition. It then goes into a description of a woman, which can also be a reference to art, since the woman could be painted. In the fourth poem, it talks about color samples, which could be used to paint rooms. This may not seem like art, but murals can be painted with room paint since they are painted on walls. Also, it discusses Paris, which is home to many art museums, including the Louvre. Places like this can store art in their storage facilities, where no one can see them. These storage facilities could be described in the fifth poem, or as they describe it: a cellar. In the sixth and final poem, Maybe the seven men were painted. This one might be a stretch but if they are painted and the painting is destroyed, “Seven men are lost, but not seven,” paintings. 

I have no idea if any of these are right, but I think the art one is especially strong. If I had to guess, I would say that one is more likely, but I find it very Everett like for a poem to be written about wine. In this I mean, Everett seems like the kind of guy who knows a lot about wine and does the thing where you swirl it around and talk about its legs. Whether or not the interpretations are true or not, interpretations like these help us better understand the text at hand. Also, knowing more interpretations can help us decide what we think the text is about. Poetry does have a message, but it is what you get out of it that really matters.

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