Daniel Pons, born in 1932, is a remarkable hybrid of creative talents. He first established himself as a poet with four books published, the most recent being The Madman and the Creator (Paris, 1980). He turned to photography during the past few years to find a visual means of expressing the sensibility embodied in the words of poetry.
“Near my home is a lake” he says, “and it was there I attempted my first experiment. It was a day when the sun and the clouds were simultaneously reflected on the water’s surface. I waited patiently as a moving cloud was mirrored in the water. I watched as little by little the image formed a very precise swan, head bent, surrounded by a halo of white light. In the background stood the strict geometric formation of the grasses. I clicked the shutter, and behold – the image reproduced was a vibrant, living swan! For the first time, I had succeeded in giving concrete form to my poetic vision.
Since then, Pons has continued to photograph the lake and its evanescent reflections, the designs that branches and reeds make, and the suggestive shapes on weathered walls. Working with such simple –even banal– subjects, Pons is able to infuse them with remarkable freshness, vitality, and mystery.
Pons the photographer has quickly won an international reputation for his work, with exhibitions in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, Scandinavia, Egypt, Belgium, and China, as well as in his native France. Reproduced here, for the first time in a U.S. photographic publication, is a selection of his images with a translation of the poetry he wishes to accompany them.
“The pictorial element prompts us with as much force as the finest written word” says Pons, “to dialog on beauty”. A beauty superior to mere esthetic grace because it is rich in vibrations that spring from all that lives into the present; the space of a moment engraved by that magnificent blade that is light itself, blade that slices through space by means of time.