"Vincent at Saint-Remy"
by Marc MacNair
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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