Sunday, April 7, 2013

Poetry Inspired by Art

Still Life Before an Open Window: Place Ravignan, 1915
Juan Gris
Oil on canvas, 166 x 89 cm
During National Poetry Month I post pieces from some of my favorite poets. I also dig into my journals for stuff from my past. In early 1999, I did something that I'd never done up to that point and which I have never done again: used great works of art as inspiration for poetry. 'Premonition' came very quickly (in only two drafts) as a result of my response to this painting by cubist Juan Gris, and it was published that year in a small press publication.

The photo here is big enough so that if you click on it you can see an enlarged version.


No more wine or bread
Headlines of insanity
Marguerite plays violin -
a sombre vibrato
falling from our balcony
with autumn leaves
to the crowded boulevard

For a moment
the boulevard
the town itself
this sunset and empty wine glass
the violin and newspaper
our crisp white tablecloth
pulse with a nausea
of some madman's creation

- Peter Cholewinski

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