“As Atlas did the sky.”*

*closing line of Atlas

For this morning’s poem on the Today programme (Radio 4), the actor, director, and writer Adjoa Ando chose U. A. Fanthorpe’s Atlas. She introduced it with these words:

“Ursula – or UA – Fanthorpe, and her partner Rosie, attended the same Quaker Meeting as my dad and my stepmum in the Cotswolds, where I grew up. Growing up there in the 1960s as a mixed race child had its own particular highlights and challenges, and I was very moved to think that Ursula and Rosie had decided to live in that same area, and make a life for themselves, and make their work, so as artists and as people who aren’t generally perceived to be part of that West Country community – um, I felt a strong kinship with them – anyway, this is Ursula’s poem that just shows how love can be expressed through the nuts and bolts of the everyday…” (poem begins at 2h26m).

From The Second Website of Bob Speel:

Caryatids, and Atlantes

“A Caryatid is a female figure used as an architectural support in place of a pillar. The male equivalent is an Atlantes, and these too are covered on this page – though the female is much the more common. This page gives mostly Victorian examples, grouping them into the two classes of full and half figures, and aiming to give a representative sample of poses and styles…

…Next, the door of Temple Chambers (pictured), off the Strand in West London, with two warrior Atlantes supporting the window above. The figures here are departing considerably from the upright, and are arguably tending more towards bracket figures than substitutes for pillars…”

From Wikipedia:

“In European architectural sculpture, an atlas (also known as an atlant, or atlante or atlantid; plural atlantes) is a support sculpted in the form of a man, which may take the place of a column, a pier or a pilaster. The Roman term for such a sculptural support is a telamon (plural telamones or telamons).”

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