It began with a conversation. We spoke about Robert Lowell and John Berryman -- the pain they suffered, the poetry they wrote. These two poets had become a part of our life ever since Shahar wrote about them many years ago. The conversation went on, sporadically, and we were surprised to find out that each of us was keeping the dialogue going even when apart: Neta sketched a few lines in pencil, Shahar drafted a few words. We were both trying to portray a concise image that would render something of the poet and of our conversation. Days turned into weeks and months: the conversation kept on going, more and more poets came to “visit”--old dear friends we were glad to see and hear once again.
Soon the sabbatical was over but the conversation continued and so, we moved on with our project, titled then “Poets in Pencils,” discussing poetry and life, and drafting on paper and on panels of wood the faces of loved poets whose poems were part of our life since long. Soon enough they surrounded us, and looked at us from Neta’s drawings, and our small apartment became a community.
From these two or so years of conversation we picked twenty-five portraits. While the poets represented in Colorful Was Their Voice were carefully chosen, the selection in no way aims to embrace or represent any canon. Many great poets are not represented here if only for our failure to give them good enough colors and voice.