Thursday, March 29, 2007

Art in your smile


The Poetry Thursday challenge this week was to write a poem about a piece of art. I chose to write about a Vincent Van Gogh painting. This particular painting has followed me around since I was an exchange student in Holland. There I was fortunate enough to live within cycling distance of the Vincent Van Gogh museum, and to be able to see many of these works in real life.

I love Van Gogh's work. I love his passion and the generosity with which he covers his canvases. I love the way that each stroke is so thick that each painting can almost be interpreted in 3D.

This painting has hung on my wall for a number of years. It was a cheap print bought from a discount store, and long ago it became too mildewed and faded to have on public display. It reminds me of many long nights spent sitting around pretending to drink coffee in little Dutch cafes, talking poetry and being obsessed in a very teenage fashion with the importance of the world around me and my place within it.

However as I wrote this poem it became something else. In my early twenties I began dating the man who is now my husband. At the time I needed a Ceroc dance partner, and poor sweet Hamish was the only guy I could think of who would come with me. Afterwards we would sit in a little cafe in Vulcan lane drinking wine and slowly falling in love. This painting reminds me of those warm, softly lit evenings.

So this poem is about my love of this painting, but it is also about the beginning of my love for Hamish.

Starry Night
We sit, you and I
at this table under a
thick gluey sky
scattered with
silver glitter stars.
They say they can
place us in time and
space, that our
liaison can be traced
on known charts of
astronomical movements.

I am more interested in
naming the exact
shade of brown in your
eyes and of measuring
the precise curve of
your cheek bone.
There is art across
the table in this
face that smiles at
me with such shy
affection.


18 comments:

Beaman said...

This is poem is so beautifully romantic. The image is perfect for the words and memory you have.
There is nothing like sitting outside in a city, drinking coffee or wine, and watching people walking by.

Catherine said...

That's a very sweet tribute to both the painting and your guy :)

Pauline said...

Delightful from beginning to end. The last stanza expresses a lover's fascination perfectly!

Brian said...

"Almost in 3-D" I can see you, and he, slowly falling in love as the stars whirl silently overhead.

Crafty Green Poet said...

nicely romantic

dogfaceboy said...

Terrific. I was with you and every word. I like the gluey canvas.

writerwoman said...

Your poem is like a eternal romantic dream. It touches the part of me that loves a love story.

Robin (Capitulation) said...

Lovely and romantic!

gautami tripathy said...

Romance oozes out of the painting and from your poetry. Simply groovy.

Kathryn said...

There is art across
the table in this
face that smiles at
me with such shy
affection.


Beautiful concept! I enjoyed this.

Natalie said...

How wonderful to have such a link to your chosen piece of art, and such a romantic one at that. It was great to read a poem celebrating what falling in love was like for you.

wendy said...

in this you can see the intoxicating beginning. What a lovely tribute.

Colorful Prose said...

I, too, love VanGogh. Beautiful poem and memories.

Kimberley McGill said...

I particularly like the gluey sky - well done!

Marcia said...

Living breathing romance.

Michelle said...

Awwwww. This is a sweet one. Well done.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Sigh. Absolutely wonderful. You and your man are very lucky to share such love!

Jone said...

You have written a beautiful poem that comliments the art and attests to your love for your husband. Very lovely.