GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poetry Thursday. Another Self

Poetry Thursday this week offers us the chance to be someone else. I'm not sure I agree with the assumption that poetry should always speak of the poet's personal experience and life. - Much poetry is written out of a persona which the poet adopts, even if it is prompted by some personal experience. A poem (is this a hobby-horse of mine? Did I say something similar when we wrote about Confessional Poetry?) can be authentic without necessarily being TRUE. One of my favourite quotes from Natalie Goldberg is "You are not your poem". I hold to this.

My offering this week, however, comes out of another life entirely. I have a fascination with Van Gogh - his work, his writings, his life. But I don't imagine he would have been an easy man to live with! Sien - who was model for these two paintings, did live with him, and the poem is my reflection on how that might have been.


..........SIEN’S LAMENT

.............That impossible man
.............goes out, and I am hoping
.............there will be a little ham,
.............some coffee, soft bread
.............for the few guilders
.............that came in the post.

.............His haul, when he returns,
.............dumped triumphantly
.............on the kitchen table:
.............tubes of ochre, cobalt
.............and Prussian blue,
.............Naples yellow,
.............terra sienna, ultramarine,
.............gamboges;
.............a roll of canvas.

.............From the corner
.............my baby’s cry rises,
.............and I wail Vincent,
.............who can eat a painting?

There will be other Poetry Thursday offerings HERE

If you would like to pay your respects at W.B. Yeats' grave, I've posted pictures from a recent visit HERE

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13 Comments:

At 14/9/06 4:36 pm, Blogger Laini said...

That's wonderful, Imelda! What a great creative response to the prompt. I've imagined, at times, how hard it must have been to live with so MANY of the great men of history.

 
At 14/9/06 6:02 pm, Blogger jillypoet said...

I love the last line! I know that Van Gogh was so poor he had to borrow money from his brother for food, I wonder if his brother, who seems the more level-headed of the two, would have known he wasn't feeding his model? The story of Van Gogh giving up food for paint is one I always tell my students. I really like your idea of writing from Sien's point of view. Takes writing "like" someone else to a new level.

 
At 14/9/06 7:36 pm, Blogger jzr said...

Absolutely wonderful! The last line is indeed great!! Thanks!!

 
At 14/9/06 8:29 pm, Anonymous beccabee2005 said...

This is so creative and well written! I can just picture poor Sien, trying to make ends meet with "that impossible man."

I also enjoyed your catalog of paint colors - such musical names they have :)

A treat of a poem, and a super take on the PT suggestion.

BTW, thank you for your kind words on my poem this week - much appreciated :)

 
At 15/9/06 12:57 am, Blogger twitches said...

What a cool idea - I really love this!

 
At 15/9/06 2:49 am, Blogger in the loop said...

Wow--I love the detail of colors and the persona you took on. Very nice!

 
At 15/9/06 5:12 am, Anonymous leonie said...

i love this. i agree with all the good stuff everyone has already said. i especially love all the references to color.

 
At 15/9/06 7:14 am, Anonymous chiefbiscuit said...

A wonderful idea all right. VG sounds a little like an artist I know - someone very close to home (my son) ... he would buy paint over food every time (except he doesn't buy paint over food for his dog.)
A great poem. Thanks.

 
At 15/9/06 2:16 pm, Blogger kerrdelune said...

Great artists, great works, great egos and totally self centred. You have captured it perfectly!

 
At 15/9/06 5:47 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

That was a neat take on a model's view of being with an artist:) I could have never been with him :)

 
At 15/9/06 7:11 pm, Blogger Pauline said...

Love the "impossible man" beginning that sets us up but doesn't give the details away.

Thanks for stopping and commenting on my site :)

 
At 16/9/06 6:54 am, Anonymous tinker said...

Oh, I love this one! It captures that conflict between practicality and grand obsession so well. I think women in general may be less inclined to give over completely to the grand obsessions (tempting though they may be), because we DO think - well, then what will we eat and how will we feed the children?
Thanks for a great post.

 
At 17/9/06 6:48 pm, Blogger Beloved dreamer said...

Wonderful and very creative!
I have been ill and seem to have missed all the fun.
Do you know what's up for this week?
Something seems to have changed.

bd

 

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