Aidan Baker – Passing Through
It all starts from a famous maxim of uncertain authorship – Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – and from a trope that is also a neurological phenomenon – synesthesia, the description or perception of one kind of sensation in terms of another. Smelling words, seeing sounds, hearing colours. Aidan Baker deliberately and skillfully plays with such figures, applying them not only to sensations but also to artistic techniques. The poems in this collection are about artworks that use other media than words – paintings, films and songs by a selection of such artists as Man Ray, Wim Wenders, John Coltrane, and Francisco Goya, among others. Each poem is at once a personal response and a dialogue with the artist, with Baker acting as author, spectator, and mediator. In this sense, besides playing with different senses and media, the collection entwines several literary genres and techniques: fiction and critical essay, poetry and prose, description and narration.