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Neva Austrew
Artist
The poem is about a peregrine hawk chasing pigeons. At first I didn’t know what a peregrine was. Then someone told me it was a kind of hawk. So I thought, “Cool—a bird.” I like painting birds. They’re one of my favorite subjects. You can paint them very expressively.

The poem alone brings to mind lots of images. I chose to portray hawk minus the pigeons. Someone suggested I show the hawk tearing the pigeons up. But I thought that would be distasteful. And to have a bunch of pigeons in the background would have been redundant. It wasn’t really necessary. The image was focusing more on the city of Syracuse.

Under tumbled black
Liquid pigeons pour through sky
Chased by peregrine.

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