Return to the main Vincent van Gogh Gallery page

Vincent van Gogh

by Beate Sigriddaughter

Between his darknesses,
the hunger, and there had to be
some wine, and then the innocence
that had been lost and lost
again, so that it almost was regained,
sometimes with whores, a kind of
mortifying of the flesh
above the hopeless streets
in a gray century,

and in the loneliness of meadows
that were bound to break
through the smeared windows of the mind
until they were so blurred, they seemed
to have the fingers of a sad, embittered god
inside them, so much does reality
feel strained,

between the humble greetings
of another letter, and the pale requests
for three more tubes of this,
if possible, and two of that,
and canvasses, and thanking
once again profusely for the kindness,
fifty francs, it is so difficult
to call it money, and perhaps,
could he have more next week?

he wrote, just incidentally of course,
one brief report—and isn’t it
a rainbow?—few words buried, hardly
a farewell, inside his last two months,
and spanning still through the great scheme
of awe and pity with the soothing
syllables: “and I am working
on a field of poppies in lucerne.”

Return to the Visitors Submissions page

Return to the main Van Gogh Gallery page