One way to read the poem ‚Monologue‘ by Claus Maywald is to interpret it as a futile attempt by this family man to initiate a dialog with a daughter who has passed away. At least that is what the poem’s title does suggest to us. At first glance, his quest for her and for spaces of remembrance only seems to reinforce the grief. However, there is also a sense that solace might be found in those spaces. This is not an easy path to take, as becomes palpable to the reader as well. The feeling of personal loss is intense throughout the text – and yet every word is universal and concerns all of us. This is not because we share this loss (or because we are mortal as well). In reading the poem, we may rather venture on the task of commiserating and approaching the world of emotions that follows the passing of a loved one. Many people want nothing to do with that. Sooner or later, however, the day comes … and it is good to know that the experience of grief work has been given poetic form here.

Collaborating with the author, the artist Felix Pestemer has accepted and absorbed the challenges posed by this text. The six large-format drawings he created for Claus Maywald’s ‘Monologue’ are striking “windows” to the above-mentioned worlds situated between the great beyond and the here and now, spaces where time stands still and where we may have encounters with the ghosts of the dead. Texts and illustrations are combined into an artistic ensemble the like of which does not exist in the sphere of overcoming grief.

Since August 2017, the drawings have been part of the collection of the Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel. The first exhibition is scheduled for late 2018.


Six large-format drawings of six fictitious places serve as illustrations for six passages from Claus Maywald’s poem ‘Monologue’: isolated worlds located somewhere between the great beyond and the here and now.

Pencil and ink on paper laid down on canvas
200 x 100 cm