Thursday, September 5, 2013

Longfellow Square

This is Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine - the intersection of State Street and Congress. The statue on the left is of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - one of America's most popular poets and much loved in Portland. I sat here last Sunday and sketched this scene. Many people walked by me as I was drawing - most of the ones that stopped appeared to be homeless. My experience with the homeless is limited to mostly seeing them when I'm in my car at busy intersections with signs asking for money. I would say, in the course of the hour and a half I spent sketching this out, maybe 15 or so stopped to see what I was doing. Nobody asked me for money - they just wanted to see the drawing. Some would chat for awhile. Others would toss out a compliment and move on. One guy offered to pay me to do a painting of his church. Now I know this is sad, but for the first time in my life, I didn't feel like I was on the other side of them. They weren't asking me for my money or help - we were just relating on equal terms - human to human. Isn't Art (and poetry) great at bringing us all together?

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