Archives for posts with tag: Vincent Van Gogh

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MY SOUL IS ALIGHT (Excerpt)
by Rabindranath Tagore 

My soul is alight with your infinitude of stars.
Your world has broken upon me like a flood.
The flowers of your garden blossom in my body.
The joy of life that is everywhere burns like an incense in my heart.
And the breath of all things plays on my life as on a pipe of reeds.

Source: Poetry magazine, 1913

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A native of Calcutta, India, who wrote in Bengali and often translated his own work into English, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 — the first Asian to receive the honor. He wrote poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and songs; promoted reforms in education, aesthetics and religion; and in his late sixties turned to the visual arts, producing 2,500 paintings and drawings before his death.

PAINTING: “Irises” by Vincent van Gogh (1889), Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California.

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SKYTONES (Section X)
Poem by Pablo Neruda

I invite you to topaz,
to the yellow
hive in the stone,
the bees,
and the lump of honey
in the topaz
to the gold day
and the familial
drone of tranquility:
here is a minimal
church, built in a flower
as the bee builds, as
the planes of the sun or the leaf
in autumn’s yellowest profundity,
a tree, incandescently
rising, beam over beam, a sunburst corolla,
insect and honey and autumn, all
transformed by the salts of the sun:
essence of honey, the tremulous world
and the wheat of the sky
that labored to accomplish
this sun-change, at rest in the pallor of topaz.

Painting: “Wheatfield with Reaper (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

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Vincent Van Gogh:The Mulberry Tree, 1889
Poem by Gerald Locklin

In the artist’s words,
“Its dense yellow foliage
Was of a magnificent yellow color
Against a very blue sky,
In a white stony field
With sunshine from behind.”
 
He neglected to mention that
He’d plugged the whole scene into
God’s own infinitely voltaged battery.
 
No one was ever more alive than he,
It is not just that
He was creative:
He embodied creation…
The creator took possession of him.
Death and life were one;
Both crackled with brain-music.
 
He may have known something
That we do not, yet,
A reality defying words.
 
His brain exploded into galaxies. 

Painting: The Mulberry Tree (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh

Find more of Gerald Locklin’s poetry in Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems, available here.

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” KAHLIL GIBRAN

Painting: “Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom” by Vincent van Gogh (1890)

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AQUA VITA

by Dale Sprowl

A color of aqua lives,

fantastically far from real;

Once I saw it behind Pablo Neruda’s house

in a dream,

a stripe of Chilean ocean, cool and green.

Another time,

though this one real,

I saw it at the beach on Aruba,

Blown with racing winds,

sea over shallow white sand

pale as a pool.

Once I found it in nature

as I stared down at ice floes on Greenland,

white chunks cut into black lake,

each framed by numinous liquid refreshment.

 

And another time I saw it.

Would you call it real or not?

In Vincent’s sky in “The White Orchard.”

When I saw it,

I wept,

uncontained,

until I saw it again in “The Plow”

and knew I was at home there.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dale Sprowl teaches writing at Biola University in La Mirada, California. During summers, she administrates and teaches at the Young Writer’s Project at UCI. Her work with the UCI Writing Project began in 1981, and she has contributed to the UCIWP texts on the teaching of writing. Her first chapbook of poems, The Colors of Water, published by Finishing Line Press in 2007, and her second chapbook, Moon Over Continent’s Edge (2009), have been nominated for a California Book Award. Her poems have also appeared in PEARL, Fire, A New Song, Ancient Paths, and Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places. She earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities and in history as well as a master’s degree in history from Pepperdine University. An Educator Associate for the American Psychoanalytic Association, she lives in Newport Beach, California, with her husband.

“Aqua Vita” and other poetry by Dale Sprowl will appear in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry & prose from authors around the world — available March 15, 2013.

Painting: “The White Orchard” by Vincent van Gogh (1888)

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SKYTONES (Section X)

Poem by Pablo Neruda

I invite you to topaz,

to the yellow

hive in the stone,

the bees,

and the lump of honey

in the topaz

to the gold day

and the familial

drone of tranquility:

here is a minimal

church, built in a flower

as the bee builds, as

the planes of the sun or the leaf

in autumn’s yellowest profundity,

a tree, incandescently

rising, beam over beam, a sunburst corolla,

insect and honey and autumn, all

transformed by the salts of the sun:

essence of honey, the tremulous world

and the wheat of the sky

that labored to accomplish

this sun-change, at rest in the pallor of topaz.

Painting:Wheatfield with Reaper (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

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Unless you’ve sworn off the news during the past few days, you’re familiar with Cecilia Gimenez, the 81-year-old attempting to shave off a few Purgatory points by doing some good works — in this case, restoring a 19th century fresco of Christ on the wall of her church in Borja, Spain.

For the record (and this is why I’m not showing how she ruined the icon), this blog assiduously avoids discussions of religion or politics — that’s not our territory. But I couldn’t resist commenting on this story — there are so many levels and layers to it.

First, it’s a fine example when your children ask, “What does it mean when someone says ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’?”

Second, it shows the value of getting regular eye checkups. I have to wonder if Cecelia Gimenez has cataracts. Before her cataract operation, my mother could not distinguish yellow from white or brown from purple. She had the front door of her house painted a Barney purple, thinking it was “umber” (true story, and I have the photos to prove it!).

Third, I’m wondering if the other parishioners stopped Cecilia Gimenez before she was finished with her work. (You know how messy works-in-progress can look!)

Finally, I feel this story expresses the importance of art education — and why we need to support funding for the arts (hey, that sounds political).

Cecilia Gimenez refuses to repent for her sins (mortal? venial?) and appears belligerent, arrogant, self-satisfied, defiant, and convinced her work is beautiful. Wait a minute. She sounds like most of the artists I know. Welcome to the club, Cecilia!

Articles about this art restoration debacle have swept the Internet — but my favorite is a piece at hyperallergic.com called “Octogenarian Restorer Strikes Again.” The brilliantly written article imagines what Cecilia Gimenez could accomplish if allowed to restore some of the world’s art treasures, including Andy Warhol‘s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor  (below), Munch’s “The Scream,” Van Gogh‘s self-portrait, Vermeer‘s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” and Leonardo‘s “Mona Lisa.”

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Vincent Van Gogh:The Mulberry Tree, 1889
Poem by Gerald Locklin
 
In the artist’s words,
“Its dense yellow foliage
Was of a magnificent yellow color
Against a very blue sky,
In a white stony field
With sunshine from behind.”
 
He neglected to mention that
He’d plugged the whole scene into
God’s own infinitely voltaged battery.
 
No one was ever more alive than he,
It is not just that
He was creative:
He embodied creation…
The creator took possession of him.
Death and life were one;
Both crackled with brain-music.
 
He may have known something
That we do not, yet,
A reality defying words.
 
His brain exploded into galaxies. 

Painting: The Mulberry Tree (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh

Find more of Gerald Locklin’s poetry in Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems, available here.