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About the Poem
I essentially wrote this poem for a dare. Click here to read the text of the poem, and more about how it came to be.
Having already enhanced this ekphrastic poem with imagery, I decided that a film-poem seemed like an obvious next step. Visually, the film follows the poem’s concerns about different kinds of reality — personal, virtual, and historical — by playing with dimensionality.
Well, not quite. For all I know, we may be related.
But imagine my frustration at being beat in search engine results for my own name by someone who has been dead for almost 400 years. I decided to channel that frustration into a tribute in the form of a digital experiment.
What follows is the poem I wrote for Robert Peake the Elder, an English painter in the court of King James I. I have added links on various phrases in the poem to images of portraits that inspired the text. I have also included audio of me reading the poem, and a gallery of images at the bottom of the page. [Update 3/2/15: We have now produced a film-poem based on this poem as well.]
Last night, I was ego surfing, and decided to check my Google rank for the keyword “Robert.” That’s right, just “Robert.” I have been in the top ten off and on, but last night this site actually came up higher than the blog of Robert Scoble.
I think this means I was momentarily famous. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel any different than before. By this morning, the effect wore off. I am now back under Scoble. Such are my thrills of late.
I also started up a stub page on Wikipedia for my googleganger, Robert Peake the Elder. Some art historian with a lot of spare time later went to town. Unfortunately, the Peake side of my family tree ends with my love-em-and-leave-em great-grandfather Peake. So, short of DNA testing (or some evidence that this painter had a double-jointed thumb), I’ll never know if we are related.