this rooster was commissioned for a collection of poems by Kemp Gregory. when we discussed his ideas for the cover, he asked that i create a symbol "for everything." that's a tall order, i said. the more you try to say in one drawing, the less you really say at all. but we brainstormed ideas for his symbol. one of the poems in the volume is titled "Chicken Reflections." when i mentioned the rooster, he got very excited. i was happy to draw the picture i described but i wasn't sure that it would mean as much as kemp hoped it would. chickens are a part of his symbology. but what would do they mean to the rest of us?

a lot of times, my ideas about a picture change while i draw. this time, it occured to me that what i said was true: "the more you try to say in one drawing, the less you really say at all." maybe the opposite is also true? if we study anything long enough, doesn't it become special? doesn't it become meaningful? it makes sense to me now that kemp would want this picture for his poems. "let me show you," it says, "the magic that i've found in these things."

also, wouldn't it be cool if you were looking at a rooster and thinking how beautiful it is when, suddenly, you notice stars shining in its feathers?

© 2003 rama hughes