Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconleurindal: More from Leurindal


Featured in Collections

Devious Collection by alapip

Fabulous Literature by sessisie

Literature by Elestra


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 1, 2009
File Size
772 bytes
Thumb

Stats

Views
986 (1 today)
Favourites
17 (who?)
Comments
48
×


When van Gogh lost his soul
to Japonisme,
'twas no bushy-eyed barbarian
babbling about bushido
that enthralled him, but
a docile geisha's pallid wrist,
pouring barbiturates
in his whisky –
a dominatrix
of cherry blossom
in his soul.

No wonder –

when van Gogh lost his mind
to a gunshot,
'twas no starry-eyed samurai
supplicating for seppuku
that pulled the trigger, but
a dying puppy's whimper,
storms of samsara hanging
by a whisker –
a decussation
of dead sunflowers
in his mind.
full title: van Gogh and the Orient: A Lament

preview: The Blooming Plum Tree, van Gogh

his last words say it all, I think:
"La tristesse durera toujours" (the sadness will last forever)

I understand that this is not the most accessible of poems. I hadn't quite meant for it to turn out this way, but so it has, I suppose.

decussation: crossing over of nerve cells in the brain/spinal cord

A tribute to Vincent and all the Expressionists

I'm considering entering this in =bekkia's contest 'Down with Clichés': [link]

Thoughts/comments, please?

*edit* Thanks to :icongwenavhyeuranastasia: for her line-break suggestions!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Well done. I'm impressed. I love this poem for it's pregnant brevity and imagery.:)

You go into the artist's life after his love affair with Japanese prints: Van Gogh's paranoia about being poisoned, and his suicide. His madness. His images could be bold, tumultuous, even shocking (artistically, compared to the work of other artists at the time), but it was never bloody, violent, macho. I doubt I could describe the sublte point you make in the poem without writing and essay referencing many of his pieces. It's the lurking, twisted side of his insanity that comes through in his later work and gets him in the end.

I thought of Eliot too, because the similarity to the 'not with a bang but a whimper' ending. But I think your poem is also trying to convey the tenuousness of Van Gogh's hold on life in this line, "storms of samsara hanging
by a whisker " Something very fragile was strong enough to make him pull the trigger, get up and go back to his rooms with a mortal wound.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010
my, my - the kind of comment every writer dreams of!

thank you very much for the insightful comment. I'm very pleased that the poem moved you and that you detected a number of its subtleties, including the Eliot phrase (I'm not sure as to whether I first encountered those repeated lines before or after I wrote this poem, but I do know that they'd really struck me).

And yes, I agree with your interpretation and am (please allow me to emphasize) very grateful to you for the attentive read :)
Reply
:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad I came close, but really, it's all there in the words you wrote.

I think Eliot was covered in high school for me... but then that was in the 70s.
Reply
:iconindigo-thorn:
indigo-thorn Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010   Writer
The last three lines are stunning- I like the final tone in general. It seems to communicate some of the defeat, a quiet hopelessness of bending to a weaker, softer will instead of a stronger one. I suppose that could be linked to expressionism, as well...
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010
indeed, beautifully-said! Thank you very much for your comment - this poem is one of my personal favourites, so I'm extra glad that you like it :heart:
Reply
:iconvex0r:
Vex0r Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009
This is awesome, Len. The images are fresh and each word expertly placed. The shift in stanzas is, I think, beautifully assisted by the two seemingly matter-of-fact words "No wonder." Lovely piece.
Reply
:iconvex0r:
Vex0r Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
[link]

Here's a feature for you. Glad to see you haven't left. :D
Reply
:iconperidot-magelette:
peridot-magelette Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2009
i like this. i can't quite pinpoint why. but i really do.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2009
thank you! :thanks:
Reply
:iconmindlessmaze:
mindlessmaze Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2009
I'm in lack of proper comment now... but wanted to say that I like this :aww:
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2009
:thanks:
Reply
:icongwenavhyeuranastasia:
GwenavhyeurAnastasia Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
Ah, I enjoyed reading this. :] Looking up the different Japanese words was a pleasure as well.

My only suggestions: both in the first and final stanzas, move 'of' down. After the word 'dominatrix' in stanza one, and after 'decussation' in the final stanza. This is a personal preference, though, and so a mere suggestion, so that those lines can end on stronger words than 'of'.

Well done, dear. :]
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
*off I go to edit*

I agree with you. The only slight problem that I see may be that the lines ain't equal in length anymore, and being one Greek freak in favour of order and the other aesthetic ideals, that pisses me off a little.

But 'of' is indeed better off at the beginning of a line than at its end.

Thank you very much!!! For both critique, comment and fav :)

:hug:
Reply
:icongwenavhyeuranastasia:
GwenavhyeurAnastasia Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
I understand, which is why I mentioned that it was only personal preference. Glad you ended up agreeing with it, though.

You're quite welcome, dear. :]

:hug:
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
It's like looking into a glass of absinthe...
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2009
strange comparison :)

thanks for the fav! :thanks:
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconelestra:
Elestra Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009
The poem is gracious and reflecting. I like the feeling that two stanzas mirror each other.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
thank you! i'm glad you like it :)
Reply
:icontimeraider:
timeraider Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I actually really enjoyed this. The writing reflected the art/artist that it was written for. I think there's a word for that - ekphrasis? In any case, I think you should be extremely pleased with this piece.

Oh, and also: "'twas no bushy-eyed barbarian
babbling about bushido" and "'twas no starry-eyed samurai
supplicating for seppuku" are gorgeous.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
wow, thanks for your comment! I had never heard the word - and now I'm in love with both the word and the concept :)

yes, my poetry tends to stress alliterative parallelism. Sometimes a bit too much, perhaps!

Thank you!
Reply
:iconalexrider-00nothing:
AlexRider-00Nothing Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
i thought that it had something to do w/ vincet. i agree that it wasn't your best, but still conveyed the correct feeling, i believe
Reply
:iconalecbell:
AlecBell Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
Sublimely realised.


There is a tension in his art between the violence of his desire and the tranquility that was the object of that desire. You poem explores unusual territory.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
sublimely said :) :heart:
Reply
:icondecibell:
Decibell Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
This poem had a similar effect on me as did Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock, the first time i read it. I didn't really fully understand it, but something about it deeply captured me nonetheless.

Amazing work.
<3
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
I have never read that poem - Eliot is one great writer that I have yet to familiarize myself with.

Thank you very much for your encouraging comment, Kelsey :)
Reply
:icondecibell:
Decibell Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
Of course! And you should definitely read Love Song whenever you get the chance.. It's amazing.
Reply
:iconindigo-thorn:
indigo-thorn Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010   Writer
A fantastic piece, I cannot help but interject. It expresses, in a circuitous manner, a very deeply human feeling, something difficult to define.
Reply
:iconfaustscribe:
FaustScribe Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Student Writer
This is so great. Its excellent. You are v. talented and getting better and better.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
thank you very much, LaMer! :heart:

The fact that you could understand and appreciate this poem shows as much about you as it does about me, I think!

And thanks again for both comment and fav! I missed your feedback in the past weeks :)
Reply
:iconfaustscribe:
FaustScribe Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Student Writer
Aww thanks. You are amazing. I mean it.
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
You are. I mean it too :)
Reply
:iconfaustscribe:
FaustScribe Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009  Student Writer
:)
Reply
:iconlovehealsyou725:
LoveHealsYou725 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
Oh, and Vincent Van Gogh was/is a bloody incredible artist by the way. <3
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
ab-so-lute-ly! :)
Reply
:iconlovehealsyou725:
LoveHealsYou725 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
This is really quite lovely, Leonard. =] Though, I had to google some of the words in it but when I did understand it I liked it even better.

I especially loved the rhyme: "whimper"/"whisper" :heart:
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
thank you Farah, I'm very glad you liked it :)

it's whisKer, actually :D :heart:
Reply
:iconlovehealsyou725:
LoveHealsYou725 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
Hahaha, sorry about that! :p
It's good either way.

P.S. Please read my new 'A Tale of Two Lovers'(when you have the time!), and answer the questions I wrote in the author's comments. :B
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
sure, comin' over
Reply
:iconlovehealsyou725:
LoveHealsYou725 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
:heart:
Reply
:iconalapip:
alapip Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Len,

i'll be watching to see Alec's
response to this - likewise
Zach's. though i haven't done
any research to clarify what i
don't know the ken of, i see a
beautifully writ poem. heard,
it is quietly symphonic.

pip
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
thank you very much, pip! :heart:

it's mostly japanese terminology. should be easy to understand once you look up the words :)

(just noted you with a lovely joke :D)
Reply
:iconalapip:
alapip Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
in context, Len, the meaning of most
words is inferred, i've always found.

you defined the medical term i was
unfamiliar with.

poetry, as with vocal music, is not
generally compromised by ungrokked
phrases, the beauty and intent
apparent in the hearing of the
sounds and rhythms.

a small for instance. in this and the
previous reply, i've used two words,
both with the same meaning, but both
most likely unfamiliar to you. if you
look up "ken" and "grok", you should
find they mean exactly what you've
already assumed they do. and, you
will have kenned and grokked each.

all language is learned, especially
by the young, via inferrence.

all beauty is in the feelings of
the observer, measured by the
intensity of the tendency to weep.

pip
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
sometimes I wish you were my tutor when I was younger. I'd have learnt so much :)

'all beauty is in the feelings of
the observer, measured by the
intensity of the tendency to weep.'


beautifully expressed! (though it didn't make me cry ;))

:)
Reply
:iconalapip:
alapip Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Len, you give me great compliment.
yours is a mind not needing
mentoring like most would. yours
is like a magnetic sponge, attracting
and absorbing.

sounds scary, but it's not. :)

as with all aphorisms, there
is some exaggeration. the tears
only coming with the most intensely felt
and unique beauty. also, the mood is
involved, but as a general statement,
it has a basic truth to be "kenned".

;)

pip
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
indeed :)

three cheers for pip's aphorisms! :D
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Professional Writer
Very well done...the first verse is especially strong...
Reply
:iconleurindal:
Leurindal Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009
thanks Brendan, I'm very glad you like it. I hope that you're doing well :hug:
Reply
Add a Comment: