Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Almond Blossoms, by Vincent Van Gogh: An Ekphrastic Poem

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”— John W. Gardener


“No better way is there to learn to love Nature than to understand Art. It dignifies every flower of the field. And, the boy who sees the thing of beauty which a bird on the wing becomes when transferred to wood or canvas will probably not throw the customary stone”.— Oscar Wilde

Midweek Motif ~ Almond Blossoms, by Vincent Van Gogh: An Ekphrastic Poem

We want your literary response to a non-literary work this week. We have Vincent van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms as your motif today.

Almond Blossoms is from a group of several paintings made in 1888 and 1890 by Vincent van Gogh in Arles and Saint-Rémy, southern France of blossoming almond trees. Flowering trees were special to van Gogh. They represented awakening and hope. He enjoyed them aesthetically and found joy in painting flowering trees.” Wikipedia

Sharing a couple of ekphrastic poems for your inspiration:

A painting of a scene at night with 10 swirly stars, Venus, and a bright yellow crescent Moon. In the background there are hills, in the middle ground there is a moonlit town with a church that has an elongated steeple, and in the foreground there is the dark green silhouette of a cypress tree and houses.

The Starry Night

by Anne Sexton

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars. –Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

Two Chained Monkeys

Two Monkeys by Brueghel 
(trans. from the Polish by Magnus Kryski)

by Wislawa Szymborska

I keep dreaming of my graduation exam:
in a window sit two chained monkeys,
beyond the window floats the sky,
and the sea splashes.

I am taking an exam on the history of mankind:
I stammer and flounder.

One monkey, eyes fixed upon me, listens ironically,
the other seems to be dozing--
and when silence follows a question,
he prompts me
with a soft jingling of the chain.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
              (Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Biodiversity)


  1. A weird poem popped into my brain for this prompt. I went with it, because: April. Lol.

    1. Weird? The poem is absolutely amazing Sherry!

  2. I recently saw a movie about van Gogh - fascinating life. Glad I wrote something for this prompt. Thanks for it Sumana.
    Will read and make comments later. Hope everyone has a great day.

  3. I must watch that movie. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I love van Gogh! Thank you for the prompt, Sumana.

  5. First time seeing this Van Gogh painting, its lovely. Happy Wednesday everyone

    much love...

  6. I love Van Gogh - his paintings are absolutely amazing.

  7. Looking forward to reading through the poems.......tomorrow!! I'm tired and won't get to appreciate them now.

    Not something I'd usually think about writing about so it was good to push the comfort zone.

  8. I'm late to this. Your poem for the almond blossoms caught my eye in my mailbox, Sumana, and Sherry's comment here (and yours in reply) led me to hers, so I came back here to look again and perhaps write something about Vincent's painting too ... but those monkeys grabbed my attention....

  9. For Magaly: "Sweet love bathing, she's beautiful!"


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