Sunday, September 27, 2009

Edward Hopper’s Blackhead, Monhegan (1916-1919)

Late summer
Sun, declining,
Scatters rays
On hills rounded
And worn,
Another place,
The hot-cool
Blue-gold hues
Of Provence.
It is something
In the French style,
After all, yes?
Not quite
Nor closeted cubist;
More like
Cezanne arguing
Mont Sainte-Victoire
On to canvas
Repeatedly, never
Quite succeeding.

The mountains
Slip Into golds
And oranges
Against a front
Drop of blue.

Dying colors wash
Across an ocean,
Thrusting against
An island broken
From mainland.
Fading blue held
Back at shore’s edge,
Cutting itself on
Jagged rock,
Bleeding white.
Fading orange
Paling into
Sunset yellows.
If only it had been
Before the war;
Colors were
Stronger then.
Now they disappear
Into the power
Of the western sun.

Dark shade divides;
Always a division.
The waves still
A beach of stones.

Blackhead, Monhegan (1916-1919), Edward Hopper, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York


Maureen said...

Oh, I like this one, especially the delightful comparison (French, don't you know); the insertion of that line "Before the war;" which comes unexpected; and those last three line, which in the context of the entire piece, work on several different levels, being about the past and the present.

Very nice.

nAncY said...

love all the colour words and looking at the painting as i read your words and then in the end it is the words.

The waves still
A beach of stones

the word rings a huge bell to hear for miles and miles.
the sound washing over the beach of stones.

shrinkthecamel said...

Glynn - This was a surprising experience for me, to mix the visual artistic experience with the words from your poem. I typically mix music with words, or art with music, but never art with words. It creates a transcendent aesthetic experience, right here on my computer! Beautiful, beautiful. Now excuse me while I turn on some music while I read this again...