I was pleased to have two poems in the latest magma magazine which is loosely based on the theme of beauty. Beauty is such a big word and there is nowhere to hide behind the concept. It seems it can only be approached artistically at a slant or remove. Of course, a thing or place or person can be beautiful in itself, but to make art from it, an extra layer has to be transmuted or refracted through for the beauty to say something.
It was interesting to see how many poems approached beauty through its corollary. As if we are dogs, sidling up to a delicate, trembling creature that could flit away.
The poet Philip Gross was one of the readers at the magma launch and he said he didn't think beauty could be measured. But what of Fibonnacci's golden ratio - a wonderful concept that pre-existed us in nature and finds its form in the heads of sunflowers, sonnets and architecture, amongst other things.
Gross also postulated that beauty is often found in things just being themselves, like pylons or concrete blocks. I think it is the reaction to the perfect form and function that we find beauty and not in the thing itself. Of course, beauty is a purely human concept too.
My pomes on beauty came from two unlikely sources - Saddam Hussein's draining of the Mesopotamian marshes in the 1990s and promiscuity.
Buy magma and have a read if you are interested...