Salvator Rosa – Self-Portrait as Poet (Scribing on a Skull, in Greek, ‘Behold, whither, eventually’)
Source: Salvator Rosa (1615–1673), “Self-Portrait as Poet (Scribing on a Skull, in Greek, ‘Behold, whither, eventually’),” circa 1647, oil on canvas, 99.1 × 79.4 cm (39 1/32 × 31 ¼ in.), Bequest of Mary L. Harrison, 1921, accession number 21.105, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics; that is my physics.
—Michel de Montaigne1

A poet before and more than anything else, these are those without whose words Jono’s would have no force; no precedent from which to emerge, no foundation to form what spark he puts forth.

Indebted, this extensive infographic attempts a canon of sorts—of Borden’s heroes, his kindred progenitors, his most pervasive and enduring influences—tracing his creative lineage as an artistic, linguistic, literary, cultural genealogy, of course.

With an experienced ear for lyricism and an appreciation for verse in its various forms, what follows is a glimpse of that rhythm Jono’s pen allows to guide its flow as he goes about his own expressions; and has ever since beginning this craft which, above all others, moves him.

50 poems (including 15 songs) written by 30 men and 20 women since 1788, of whom 28 are dead, 22 are still living, 18 identify openly as LGBT, and 9 are people of colour. (26 Americans, 6 Canadians, 5 English, 2 French, 2 Irish, 1 Australian, 1 German, 1 Kenyan, 1 Lebanese, 1 New Zealander, 1 Scottish, 1 Syrian, 1 Vietnamese, and 1 Welsh.)

Arranged by order of their birth, poets were chosen whose work, as the quoted examples demonstrate, subverts norms and inspires all of Jono Borden’s own work.

1Michel de Montaigne, “[Essay] 13. On experience”, in “Book III” of The Complete Essays: Translated and edited with an Introduction and Notes by M. A. Screech, published at New York by Penguin Books in 2003; page 1217.