Monday, April 11, 2016

ARTSPEAK! 2016: Poem #11 "Bread's Lament"

Welcome to day 11 of my National Poetry Month poem-a-day-project ARTSPEAK! in which I respond to images found in the online collections at the National Gallery of ArtPlease join me, if you feel so inspired! 

But first, please visit Buffy's Blog to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing!

This year's ARTSPEAK! theme is "Plant. Grow Eat." It was inspired by the release of my latest book FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers' Market.

Here are the poems so far:

"After the Fire" after Ruined Farm by Hubert Robert
"Cow at the Gate" after Landscape with Open Gate by Pieter Molijin
"I Am the Plate" after Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit by Paul Cezanne
"Courtship (According to the Cat)" by Winslow Homer
"Courage" after Planting Corn by Stanley Mazur
"Orchard Barber Shop" after Gardener Pruning a Tree by Jacques Callot
"Gardener's Companion" after The Watering Can by Georges Seurat
"Triolet for Planting Day" after The Artist's Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro

Today's image was the first image I found when I began rounding up images on this year's theme, so I've been thinking about this little boy for a couple of weeks now. Those eyes! But, again, I didn't know what the boy could say that would be unique/original. So I started looking at the other elements of the painting. I kept coming back to that hunk of bread...

Bread's Lament

How am I
to compete
with a basket
of fruit
so luscious
and sweet?

Look how
the plum fits
in the boy's
palm –

and I am
but crust
and crumb.

My life is
but boring –

until the mice
come along.

- Irene Latham


  1. What a great painting! So glad you gave that hunk of bread a voice. Thanks for the smile today. :)

  2. Crust and crumb. Perfect. I wonder if the bread looks forward to those mice visiting.

  3. I never would have thought of 'crust and crumb' as bland, but one doesn't really know what others are thinking! Fun to take that voice, Irene.


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