Featuring a portrait of Wallace Stevens, the poet who wrote the poem ‘The Blue Guitar’ which inspired Hockney to create the series of etchings this work belongs to, The Poet is a charming composition which incorporates many of the artist’s different styles and subjects. The portrait itself is a classic Hockney, similar to his line drawings, picking out the features of the poet with minimal fuss and recalling many of the his portraits of his closest friends and companions. To the left of the poet there is an arrangement of marks which recalls the etched piles of straw and gold in Hockney’s Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm series. Above that we see a series of geometric shapes or stones which show his preference for tonal cross hatching, juxtaposed with brightly coloured shadows in red, blue, green and yellow. On the layer above, these stones are transformed into blobs of these colours, their shadows now a traditional grey. Crowning the composition is the blue guitar of the series title. Altogether these disparate elements make for an enigmatic and yet charming composition, which shows Hockney at his playful best, experimenting with the sugarlift aquatint technique he had only recently learned and pushing the boundaries of printmaking once more.