Wheatfield with Crows

His paint oozed solitude and sadness.
The turbulent brush almost fell
from his hands. He knew it so well,
this field of rude life and death,
its diverging blood-rusted paths
leading to the same horizon.

The violent polarity of yellow field
of wheat daubed in rows
and blue sky smudged with clouds
erupts with black marks of crows,
harbingers and bearers of his goodbye.

Caged by fits of melancholy,
with nowhere to go and no escape,
the wing-clipped artist had to fly.

Kim M. Russell, 25th August 2020

s0149V1962 - Van Gogh Museum

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Waiting on Wheat

This Tuesday our guest host is Rosemarie, who brings us a quotation from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and poems by Pablo Neruda.

Rosemarie says that, living alone in her cream-box-of-a-home for more than four months now, she has had time to read poetry and has grown very fond of Pablo Neruda and his rich use of the word ‘wheat’.

Today, we are writing about wheat and we can even borrow some lines from Neruda and paint them with our own colours. My inspiration came from Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Crows’, probably his last painting before his suicide, and the form I have chosen is an irregular sonnet.

37 thoughts on “Wheatfield with Crows

  1. Kim, a beautiful form that captures the artists pain so well. The last stanza tears me up. If only there were a time machine to go back and rescue him before that tragic end that didn’t need to be 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They think it was his last painting, particularly as that was where he shot himself. I wonder if his paintings were cries for help. Apparently, he felt he was a burden on his brother, Theo, who was having a difficult time himself.


  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I see dark imagery in this poem with the ending as it will always will be for Van Gough: tragedy and death. It is sad, but so beautifully composed. Another amazing poem of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very creative to use some Van Gogh wheat for the prompt. As tragic as his life was, his art makes up for it; though he never knew success. It’s one of the great dramas in art history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such darkness from your muse with:

    black marks of crows,
    harbingers and bearers of his goodbye.

    Love how you painted with words to match Gogh’s last painting. I can feel the moody & melancholy voice from this painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can feel the artist’s pain both in your poem and in the painting. It is such an excellent description of Van Gogh’s tortured final days. I always find so much to move me in his paintings, more so than almost any other artist. A fitting tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You had me with that first line. Without looking at the painting I knew exactly what you were describing. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists and his many paintings of wheat are seared in my mind. The ones I think of are the numerous ones of the same wheat “stack” — but this one is a favorite. The words “caged by fits of melancholy” are especially illustrative of the artist’s own melancholy. Just an excellent description of this painting. I forget the poetic name for this type of poetry — where you actually describe a painting? You’ve done it so very well, Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lill! It’s ekphrastic poetry, which I enjoy writing, and why I submit every month to Visual Verse. I have a poem in the Ephrastic Review tomorrow. 😊


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