The Photograph

Autumn in New England!


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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:


I have demonstrated or will demonstrate the application of this theory at the following locations:
March, 2019 @ Boston, Massachusetts, ACIS Annual Conference: "Iconic Realism and Flourishing Irish Females in the National Tale: James Joyce's Molly Bloom and Sydney Owenson's Wild Irish Girl(s)"
November, 2016 @ Massachusetts Maritime Academy:
"A Terrible Beauty is Born...The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism and William Butler Yeats' poem, Easter 1916"
April, 2016 @ University of Notre Dame:
"A 'Daughter of Attila' Speaks: The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism in the Cultural Identity of Irish Celts and Magyars"
Dates pending: I will present the theory of iconic realism at universities and art institutes which have purchased my book.

27 November, 2018

Art and Emily Dickinson

(calligraphy is from Dickinson's "The Soul selects Her Own Society," 
"My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close" and "Presentiment")
Click here to see Artists' Project

by Emily Dickinson

Calligraphy Translation: 
The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.
Unmoved, she notes the chariot's passing
At her low gate;
an emperor kneeling
Upon her mat.
I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.
I never saw a Moor
My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
Presentiment---is that long shadow---on the lawn---
Indicative that sun goes down---
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness---is about to pass---

By displaying the countenance of this reclusive poet in the midst of so many cultural icons, these two artists, Huang Xiang and William Rock, illustrate iconic realism of Emily Dickinson's poetry. In this painting by William Rock and the calligraphic representation by Huang Xiang, the iconic presence of Emily Dickinson's simplicity in connection with this honorable position illustrates her impact on human consciousness and the importance for humanity to look inward. Indeed, through her darkness, enlightenment has come to many. The use of blue and purple bring to mind the spirituality that surrounds this poet's expression: in her eyes, around the 'upper floor' of her mind and in her heart.


  1. Haven't explored your theoretical dimension yet, but that is gorgeous painting.

  2. Nowhere near Connecticut...How can there be a static coalescence if friction is involved? I am very taken with the idea of something out of place, that is say a consciousness, with its own insistent reality, within a milieu that is realistic, but at an oblique angle. for me, all the best art embodies conflict.

  3. Dear ArtSparker,

    Thank you for your observation. I agree; it is a gorgeous painting, and I love Emily Dickinson's poetry, so it definitely works for me. In answer to your astute question: There are two objects deliberately in place (static coalescence): one is positioned in a way that is not the usual association, as you have stated, out of place.
    The friction occurs within the reception and interpretation by the audience of this artistic placement (static coalescence), arousing within the audience an awareness of a cultural conflict.

  4. Ooh! I like listening to intelligent people talking .Cool.I too like the painting and so many people in blogland mention Dickinson that I really should investigate more.I wiil also check out this artist /poet collaboration.Thanks Jeanne

  5. Ah TFE, always good to see your presence here! Thank you for stopping by my humble fireside blog. (I wish they had a gadget that was a virtual fireplace. That would be very Care for a bit of hot buttered rum or bubble tea?

    Yes, please do take a look at Mr. Xiang's and Mr. Rock's collaboration. It's wonderful.

    Reading Emily Dickinson's poetry is not only an intellectual exercise in understanding human nature, but perhaps, one reason so many love her poetry is that almost every poem of hers can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" ...which reminds me of the time I was in a grad class, studying Emily Dickinson, and the professor left the room momentarily whereupon I rallied the other students to the musical rendition of Ms. Dickinson's works at which point he returned...oops...I did feel a bit of friction at that moment. But we all coalesced to bring him to awareness of the cultural benefit of a smile. : )

  6. Hi Jeanne,
    You sure do have a cool place here. I adore the painting and yes, Emily Dickinson's poetry - love it too. Must check out iconic realism...haven't a clue but will read up a little while exploring your blog. : )
    (I have sent you an e-mail regarding virtual blog tour dates to your facebook place as don't have another email address for you.)
    cheers, Jeanne

  7. Hi Liz,
    Good to see you here, too. The responses to this painting by William Rock in collaboration with the poet, Huang Xiang, is a testimony to the important work they're doing.

    This theory of iconic realism is a way of understanding art in all forms as an avenue to bring audiences in touch with cultural transformation, something that has been going on for centuries. I'm very excited about bringing awareness to this concept. Surely, your poetry accomplishes this as well, and I look forward to the virtual blog tour coming this way.

    Cheers back atcha!