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Poetry Magnum Opus

Van Gogh's Pipe


David W. Parsley

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David W. Parsley

Van Gogh's Pipe

Written upon seeing the Van Gogh Collection

kept at Amsterdam

 

You could say it is dying, guttural glow scant

stain on the stoic blotches and unwinking lids.

It has labored this day wafting between coughs

to augment aroma of oils and ink

in the misshapen chamber.

 

Ashes lie on the bandage where the bullet went in.

At the sound of startled crows the pipe’s flame

flutters a few beats in the dimness above the bed.

Dimensions of the room converge

in wake of those retreating cries,

frame a lone chair poised at the final wall

 

masking for all but the least mutilous ear

the errant flock’s rotation to fields still ripening,

one stark against that afamilial sky

backward flying in blue light among his fellows

wild with the imagined strength

of the heavens, his own interminable gaze.

 

 

 

 

 

previously unpublished
© 2014 David W. Parsley
Parsley Poetry Collection

 

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wild with the imagined strength of the heavens

 

That is some damn good poetry.....AND theology, IMHO. :)

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Outstanding poetry with imagery that flows, swirls and draws the reader in.... rather like the artists own provocative work. Much enjoyed. Geoff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

wild with the imagined strength of the heavens

 

That is some damn good poetry.....AND theology, IMHO. :)

Hi dc, interesting that you gravitated to this image and language. The image is inspired by what is reputedly (disputedly?) the last work of Vincent Van Gogh, "Wheatfield with Crows":

 

[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/A_Vincent_Van_Gogh.jpg]

 

The perspective is another matter, and I am reluctant to be too explicit about my aims. This is partly due to the poet's common respect for each reader's need to take his/her own experience and response to symbol from a poem. But I will say that at least part of what I wished to capture was Vincent's own frame of mind at the time of his suicide. Among other things he was feeling a measure of hopelessness about his condition. In addition, his communications with his brother, Theo, indicate he believed that a force somewhat like fate was restraining artists from achieving recognition until after their deaths. (Becoming a familiar thought.)

 

In any case, I am grateful for your appreciation of the poem.

 

Best Regards,

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

A great portrait of the artist via the atmospheric implications you convey beautifully. Terrific David.

Frank

Hi Frank, thank you for your gracious tribute. I actually had a few self-portraits in mind while composing this:

 

490px-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-portrait_w

544px-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self_Portrait_w

Self-Portrait-1889-by-Vin-001.jpg

 

Cheers,

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

... Love the detail of the lone chair.

 

all the best

 

badge

This one had a specific painting in mind, too.

 

Van%20Gogh%20-%20La%20sedia.JPG

 

Thank you, badger.

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

Outstanding poetry with imagery that flows, swirls and draws the reader in.... rather like the artists own provocative work. Much enjoyed. Geoff.

Geoff,

 

I do not have specific paintings to pair with your insightful (as always) remarks. Rather you tap into the whole expressionistic mode of the great painter and the poem's attempt to echo that.

 

Thank You,

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

i agree superb work

Thanks for the deep compliment, Barry.

- Dave

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