Extraordinary blue sky
and Japanese artistry
accentuate delicate
petals against the outline
of gnarled branches.
They offer new life, calm
before the storm
of a spring breeze
rips the blossom
from the trees
and fills the Arles air
with sweet almond vapour.

Kim M. Russell, 24th April 2019


My response to Poets United Midweek Motif Almond Blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh: An Ekphrastic Poem

Sumana asks for our literary responses to a non-literary work this week: our motif for today is Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Almond Blossoms’. She has shared quotes on the topic from John W. Gardener and Oscar Wilde, as well as poems by Anne Sexton and Wislawa Szymborska

20 thoughts on “Artistry

    1. Thanks Sumana. Vincent finished his Arles Almond blossoms at a time of personal productivity and joy at the birth of his brother’s child. However, it was long before another bout of severe depression and only months before his death. I’ve read several books and articles about him and I’m still not sure whether he shot himself in the stomach (a difficult thing to do) or whether somebody did it to him. There were no forensics in those days and I’m not sure if the police were competent in that kind of investigation, even though he didn’t die until two days later.


      1. ‘somebody did it to him.’ Oh dear! I read Irving Stone’s Lust For Life so many years ago that now I don’t remember anything how he dealt with Vincent’s last days. I am going to buy that book.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful and absolutely love “fills the Arles air with sweet almond vapour” We do have artistry on common and I have played with the word gnarled as well but it turned into something else 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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