Unflinching Self Portrait in which the Artist is Absent

Schooled at home, born to create

Taught how to draw and then engrave 

His paint the poems illustrate

Rejects a world whose laws enslave


Schooled in Kent, born to create

Drawing, sculpture, neon, film, 

Unflinching, stained, her self portrait 

Confronts, confesses, shocks, bewilds


Did he smile his work to see

Jerusalem, a Virgins Death

Did she swear on live tv

A tent, a bath, an unmade bed


For him a spiritual landscape reigns

Her art embeds the daily ache

Dissenters in both life and grave, 

Passion, mystical,  passion, prosaic 


'Unfortunate lunatic' Blake's review

Of her, the critics no less stern

Romantic, mad she said of him

And what would he have said of her? 


Derided and accused were both

Blake seditious, Emin, fraud,

Misunderstood by most but not 

The poets who defend their cause


Two hundred years they stand apart

Compare, contrast the Tate wall said

Blake's naked, spiritual, nightmare art 

And Tracy Emin sent her bed


October 2016 following a visit to the Tate Liverpool exhibition contrasting the art of William Blake and Tracy Emin.