Thursday, March 29, 2007

poetry thursday*

from poetry thursday:
"Now for this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea. Last week, we brought you Dennis’ idea of writing in response to an image. This week, we bring you dogfaceboy’s idea, which takes ekphrasis a step further.
First, let’s define ekphrasis. It’s not as scary as it sounds. It is simply “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art.” (If you are wondering how to pronounce it, it sounds like emphasis.....
So this week, if you want, try stepping inside a work of art and writing from that perspective"

I just read W. Somerset Maugham's Moon and Sixpence and so naturally I thought of Gauguin's Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? which I actually had the pleasure of seeing at the Met on a spontaneous roadtrip in our pre-parenthood days. Anyway, without further ado...
...................................
Red Beard

They leave the bush
laughing
drunk from my brother’s
palm whiskey
The Priest, the Doctor,
the Ship’s Captain,
pairs and pairs of
blue eyes blind
seeking escape from the
vines and flies,
back to the comfort
of roads, and teacups,
and newspapers filled with men
Your bondage went unnoticed
The toils of your turpentine soaked
hands were mere spectacles,
causing as much mirth as
the sight of our son,
red hair against brown skin
standing naked in the mud
They ask me what I think of
your art, a word that is
laughed over,
a joke
When you leave the room,
they say, "So many women
it’s no wonder
he prefers hut to house"
I say there is
only one woman,
I am all women,
everywhere

They call you a madman
I call you Barbe Rouge

4 comments:

Brian said...

I think their is madness in all creation, all art.

You've revealed it here in your poem. The drive that leads to all woman, she is a powerful force.

jim said...

I find the perspective here riveting, and those final assertions affirm the speaker's great powers, even to the point of naming Gauguin in her own art. Smart, defiant, and playful.

gautami tripathy said...

Very good, riveting poem.

"They ask me what I think of
your art, a word that is
laughed over,
a joke
When you leave the room,
they say, "So many women
it’s no wonder
he prefers hut to house"

How apt...

gautami
Meditating for being one with you

...deb said...

Nice tribute to Gauguin, whose work I have always admired. Especially liked the lines "The toils of your turpentine soaked/ hands were mere spectacles,"