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"Vincent at Saint-Remy"

by Marc MacNair


XI.    Vincent at Auvers (Wheat Field with Crows)


le chercher le caractère de l'artiste. . .


I find no discernable character

To the wheat, individuality

In the brustrokes perhaps to be seen as

fingers of grain, but there I see soldiers

Your honored guard, shielding you wherever

You happen to lay in that endless field,

As peaceful as it seemed to you, bleeding


Three roads led through the field

One road went back to Auvers, naturally

You would return home, Retire to sleep,

Wake with little recollection and yet able

To paint the scene from memory.

Another road perhaps led to the north,

past Paris, home, Amsterdam;

Brothers, sisters, nephews, wondering after you.

Clever of you to save the middle road

For yourself, you created it after all and

It might as well take you where you would go


The crows could menace, flying towards me

At speed, but I see them flying away,

Not escaping me, unaware of this

Small existence, asking your permission

As they rise above you to leave this scene,

But instead you fix them to this field and

Therein lies the peril, the anger of

Your crows, unable to escape, to die


If the night sky has a significance

It has to lie somewhere in the contrast

between a golden field, three dirt roads, and

A flock of crows either attacking or

Retreating and while I may never know

How you meant it, I am certain you had

An answer meant for me. If the questions

Insist on staying in my protection

I know I shall keep asking them of you.


s'il vous plaît, Vincent, le retour à me!


(Vincent Van Gogh painted "Wheat Field with Crows"

sometime in July of 1890.

Some believe it was his final painting

because of the style and composition.

Others think it was merely amongst his

Final physical works, but not the last.

If it wasn’t his final gift to us

It is certainly convenient for it

conceptually to be so. Later

that month he went into a field and shot

himself. Wounded, he returned to Auvers.

The next day Vincent died in the arms of

his brother saying (to the effect of)

"I wish it could end this way.")

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