Vincent Could Have Told You (Echostains Poetry Challenge)

My friend Lynda over at the wonderful Echostains Blog issued a challenge, which I accepted. If you have not visited Echostains, you’re missing out! It’s one of the most informative and interesting art sites on the Net.

Echostains Poetry Challenge:
“The challenge is to watch the very short video that features all Van Gogh’s self-portrait and imagine what the artist might be trying to convey through these portraits – in other words if he could speak – what do you think he would he want to say to us?  Alternatively you could just write a poem about Van Gogh the man or his work.  The poem can be as profound as you want, or as daft as you like:)  it can be long, short or even a haiku.”

Light stricken, anxious eyes
Painting beautiful expressions sublime
Puddling tears that Starry Night
Too late, my work now recognized

Could not foresee what happened to me
Now millions on sales tags
Downloads to computer screens
Broadcasts of honors in stellar HD
Even documentaries all about me
Scandals, art thieves,
Dedicated museum wings
Sunflower posters
Mass produced grief…

Yet curation now kind
Since I razed my prime
They think priceless being
A tortured mind

Only my faces and work survive
Absinthesizing swirls refined
Depression claimed another life
Still art without end
Beyond my time

31 Responses to “Vincent Could Have Told You (Echostains Poetry Challenge)”

  1. fantastic dustus!
    van gogh indeed did not sell lots of this pictures during his lifetime – think that’s quite hard if you paint hundreds of pictures and almost no one would want to buy them – and now…
    a shame he can’t see what happened with his paintings
    but i also admire that he painted on, even if he didn’t seem to be successful – that’s real passion
    have a great weekend!

  2. I knew you would rise to the challenge Adam! You have put a lot of detail into this excellent poem. Van Goghs art is so mixed up with suffering, monetary value, and pain that we sometimes forget to just enjoy it. His images are on teatowels, cups, etc – does this devalue it though? everyone wants a piece of this artist (as illustrated through the poem)
    I like the lines:_
    They think priceless being
    A tortured mind…….
    Its right – a lot of emphasis is put on his mental state (which you have addressed). There is still a life in his paintings that shall never die – a kind of innocence and a charm that remains forever young. I love the lines:-
    Still art without end
    Beyond my time…….

    VERY well done on this poem!

    • Needed to step up my game for Echostains! Fantastic idea you had for a challenge, Lynda. I think the mass production of his work does devalue it a bit; nonetheless, one trip to a museum to see his original work will make me forget about cups, teatowels for a while. Cheers.

      Enjoyed the challenge! Have an excellent weekend!

  3. Adam, This is incredible. Wow, you blew the socks right off of this challenge! I’m mulling it here and there, and hope to give it a shot! don’t know the deadline, so not sure if I can get it done in time! Again, you impress me!

    • Theres no deadline suzicate, I’m leaving it on tomorrow as well then it will be a page which I will link to after each post! please join in:)
      I’ll just keep adding to it!

  4. Hey Suzicate! Nice of you to say—a well-respected compliment that I take to heart. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  5. its very sad when people get their recognition too late. as it has happened with artists and writers again and again.

    splendid poem Adam. Just splendid.

  6. Exactly, trisha. So many monumentally sad stories of artists throughout history; his life strikes me as harrowing the more I learn about him.

  7. Well done Adam…you’ve painted a portrait of your own with these words.

  8. I’ve learned a great deal from his example; and yours too.
    Cheers, Charles.

  9. Incredible, very well done!

  10. You brought a total different image from the potrait. I barely would have seen that. You’re a writer indeed. Nice one!


  11. “Mass produced grief”

    That’s the line that just reached right out and shook me, Adam. I also like how you’ve incorporated Don McLean’s classic song into your words.

    I once heard a baseball player talking about the difficulty of hitting and about his huge salary. He said, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Creating beautiful art, or poetry, is extremely difficult to do, and it is beauty often born of grief. Anyone who can and does create such stuff, especially in the face of low reward, has my genuine admiration.

  12. Once again you have blown my mind with your talent and writing skills…there is no doubt about you Adam…you enrich our lives over and over. Hugs x

  13. Adam, this is a fine tribute to an artist whose work continues to amaze me. There’s always been a desperate, almost shimmering quality to it that has spoken to that anxious, misrepresented part of me (if that makes sense). You’ve captured something of that here, I believe. Beautiful, life filled words, my good chum. Write on.

  14. Hey Tony. What you said makes sense to me. There is a tension in his work that shines through beautifully; difficult to define and/or put into words that quality, shimmeringly accessible to the anxiety-prone perhaps. IDK. On a happier note, always good of you to visit! cheers
    Write on

  15. signed .............bkm Says:

    Great Dustus…still life, massed produced – our need to consume others minds – thoughts…instead of painting our own…anew…bkm

    • Hi …bkm, that’s so true what you say. I think it’s natural to project vicariously, though that shouldn’t be all one does, nor the focal point of any culture.

  16. moondustwriter Says:

    I would say parts of this speak for many artists. They aren’t appreciated yet they are exploited. when alive they are driven mad by society for being avante-garde

    Tres Bien mon ami

  17. Merci bien 🙂

  18. I found myself saying, “wow” after each and every line. Beautiful work here, Adam.

  19. A beautiful take on the challenge, Adam… I totally enjoy your use of words.. they draw the readers in!!
    Poor guys – the old time artists – they had to die to become famous! Cruel world!! (sigh)

  20. betweenhearts75 Says:

    Wow Adam I am so impressed with this, your views upon the work, the passing of this historical artist that still impacts so many today, including myself. Such struggles that went by without the mere help of financial reward in life, constantly in need of his brother’s assistance to keep going with his vision, sold now for incredible amounts and featured in museums…yes everywhere online…. your words are fantastic! Loved this ~April

  21. […] Art Blog) issued another poetry challenge, which I accepted. You may recall her previous challenge, Vincent Could’ve Told You, a You Tube prompt— video morphing montage of Van Gogh’s self-portraits.  Well, this time the […]

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