Friday, May 28, 2010


Vassily Kandinsky: The Blue Rider, 1903

My guess is that Hirsch's "Blue Rider" was inspired by two paintings: Kandinsky's Blue Rider, and Franz Marc's Blue Horse.

To understand Hirsch's poem more fully, you need to know that "The Blue Rider" (Der Blaue Reiter) is the name of a group of artists in Munich, 1911-1914, not quite a movement with a manifesto, but a group of visionary artists, the most famous of whom were Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Paul Klee. The outbreak of the Great War put an end to their meetings. For more information, please go to

As I understand Hirsch's poem, "he" is an artist, or anyone with an artistic sensibility, who would prefer to deal with art and medieval churches (note a certain suggestion of a medieval building in Kandinsky's painting), but who then wakes up to the predatory reality of war. 

In the previous post, I chose Marc's Blue Horse for its beauty, and because the poem opens with "riding on a blue horse." Only later I realized that the reader needed a footnote on the mysterious "rider." 


  1. Paul Klee has been a great source of inspiration for many painters, especially me.

  2. Love Klee. Painters inspire poets too. Wish it could go the other way too (sigh . . . )