Your Feet — and upon the waters, until they found me.

Pablo Neruda

Photographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

As a portrait photographer I am always centered on the face. Other parts I usually ignore but I am aware that hands are most important. I have a tendency to incorporated hands in my portraits. Feet, on the other hand are so far away from the face that I ignore them. If anything I believe (or used to) that feet are uncommonly ugly. In particular the feet of graceful ballerinas are a mess. Few dancers will show you their feet. I have been lucky (unlucky perhaps?) to have seen the feet of a few famous ballerinas.

My mother had beautiful legs and feet. She told me that I had inherited them. Some years ago on a travel magazine assignment to Florida I had to photograph and write about an exclusive resort. I was offered either a massage or a pedicure. I have always been shy about massages so I chose the pedicure.

The pedicure gave me an opportunity to write miles of copy. I was placed in a long narrow room with about 10 other women. They were talking about intimacies that made me blush from head to feet! When the pedicurist mentioned loudly that I had beautiful feet for a man of at least 60, the women congregated around me and oohed and aahed. I kept blushing from head to feet!

As a dare a woman at an Exposure Gallery exhibition in the beginning of this century told me, “If you think feet are so ugly why don’t you try to photograph them and perhaps change your mind?”

This I did.

I found Lalita an Italian server at the Number 5 Orange. She had the body of Sophia Loren. I asked to photograph her. I took some photographs in my studio but then we went to Lynn Canyon. When I told Lalita’s boss, Tony Ricci that I had photographed Lalita’s feet he was incredulous. Lalita’s pictures are in this blog. If you have patience and wait until the end here you can get a glimpse of the rest of her.

The basic unit of measurement of accentual-syllabic meter. A foot usually contains one stressed syllable and at least one unstressed syllable. The standard types of feet in English poetry are the iamb, trochee, dactyl, anapest, spondee, and pyrrhic (two unstressed syllables).

Así había empezado a andar por un París fabuloso, dejándose llevar por los signos de la noche, acatando itinerarios nacidos de una frase de clochard, de una bohardilla iluminada en el fondo de una calle negra, deteniéndose en las placitas confidenciales para besarse en los bancos o mirar las rayuelas, los ritos infantiles del guijarro y el salto sobre un pie para entrar en el Cielo.

Julio Cortázar

Your Feet — Pablo Neruda

When I cannot look at your face

I look at your feet.

Your feet of arched bone,

your hard little feet.

I know that they support you,

and that your sweet weight

rises upon them.

Your waist and your breasts,

the doubled purple

of your nipples,

the sockets of your eyes

that have just flown away,

your wide fruit mouth,

your red tresses,

my little tower.

But I love your feet

only because they walked

upon the earth and upon

the wind and upon the waters,

until they found me.

Tus pies- Pablo Neruda

Cuando no puedo mirar tu cara

miro tus pies.

Tus pies de hueso arqueado,

tus pequeños pies duros.

Yo sé que te sostienen,

y que tu dulce peso

sobre ellos se levanta.

Tu cintura y tus pechos,

la duplicada púrpura de tus pezones,

la caja de tus ojos que recién han volado,

tu ancha boca de fruta,

tu cabellera roja,

pequeña torre mía.

Pero no amo tus pies

sino porque anduvieron

sobre la tierra y sobre

el viento y sobre el agua,

hasta que me encontraron

Link to: Your Feet — and upon the waters, until they found me.



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