On the portrait: When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who turned us on to the metaphysical poets. John Donne, Andrew Marvell. I especially loved George Herbert for his poem "The Collar." I’m not a religious person, but the dramatic impact of the sudden interjection of the voice of God at the end of the poem and its humbling effect on the raving speaker, almost like an answered prayer, has stayed with me all these years.
By George Herbert
I struck the board, and cried, "No more;
I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.
Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it.
Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,
Thy rope of sands,
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw,
And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
Away! take heed;
I will abroad.
Call in thy death's-head there; tie up thy fears;
He that forbears
To suit and serve his need
Deserves his load."
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, Child!
And I replied My Lord.
William Horberg is a film producer, musician, writer and artist. He lives in the Hudson River Valley with his wife, the Cuban artist Elsa Mora, and their two children. He is presently Chair of the Producers Guild of America, East, and curates a film and music series at ArtYard art center in Frenchtown, NJ.