Monday, April 17, 2017

ARTSPEAK! Portraits poem "Boy Blowing Bubbles"

Hello and Happy National Poetry Month! Here it is day 17 of ARTSPEAK!: Portraits, my National Poetry Month poem-a-day project, during which I am looking, listening with my spirit ear, and asking these subject to share with me their secrets.

But first: Be sure to check in with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing!

Here are the ARTSPEAK! Portraits poems so far:

16. "Morning" after Buki Rinsen by Tsuchida Bakusen
15. "When Papa Paints" after Portrait of Anne by George Wesley Bellows
14. "Whistler's Mother" after Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 by James McNeill Whistler
13. "In the Company of Kittens" after Contentment 1900 by Henriette Ronner-Knip
12. "Sixteen" after Jeanne Hubuturne-1919 by Amedeo Modigliani
11. "Promise" after Portrait of a Little Italian Girl by Maria Kroyer
10. "Portrait of a Writer" after Oskar Maria Graf by Georg Schrimpf
9. "Speaking of the Weather" after Profile of a Woman by Fujishima Takeji
8. "Happiness" after Self-Portrait with Straw Hat by Elisabeth Vigee le Brun
7. "Virginia, Sitting for a Portrait" after Portrait of Virginia (Little Girl) by Frida Kahlo
6. "Paint-by-Number" after Portrait of a Woman by Alexei von Jawlensky
4. "I Am" after The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas by George Catlin
3. "What If?" after Portrait of Camille Roulin by Vincent van Gogh
2. "The Lady Confesses" after Portrait of a Lady with Mask and Cherries by Benjamin Wilson
1. "Mona Lisa in Love" after Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Today I have a little boy for you! He's such a busy fellow, it's a miracle I got any words out of him at all! Here's what he'd like for you to know:

Boy Blowing Bubbles
after “The Bubble Boy” by Paul Peel

Is there anything
   more hopeful

than a fat

rainbowing its way
   across a July sky?

- Irene Latham

Readers, someone asked me how I plan this series -- do I randomly select a new portrait each day, or do I plan the whole thing out before April? 

Well, I'll tell you! Because time is so precious during April, I gather my group of 30-35 images BEFORE the month. And then each morning during April, I go to that file on my computer and choose whichever artwork speaks to me that day. 

This year I selected exactly 30 portraits, which doesn't allow any wiggle room, say, if for instance, I'm not able to get one of these subjects to speak to me. I am trusting that they will all speak! It helps knowing that this is a challenge of "progress not perfection." I write these poems because I love art, and I love words, and it's a way for me to celebrate that. Thanks so much or reading!


  1. And what a gift your love of art and words is to the world. I like your phrase "...this is a challenge of "progress not perfection." And the words "rainbowing it's way," are perfect for that soap bubble journey.

  2. What a perfect poem! I love it. You know I love blowing bubbles!.

  3. Bubbles are magical for everyone, and this boy is so intent, what a capture by the artist, and your response so loving, Irene. I agree with Ramona, "rain bowing its way" is just perfect.

  4. My mother-in-law bought bubbles for all of the cousins yesterday, and watching the oldest blow bubbles for the youngest was an absolute delight for all ages. Thank you - rainbowing away.... xx

  5. Two treasured joys - rainbows & soap bubbles.
    You capture the magic.

    And the painting with the puffed cheeks is such a Moment.

    Appreciations also for sharing your process.


  6. "So much depends on" small moments like this!

    I, too, love your verb!

  7. Good Morning! I've been so busy these past few days I haven't gone poet visiting. So, I'm catching up now. I love the bubble blowing poem. I can only imagine some of these artists and what they would have captured with our modern photography. "The Moment" is so vital to all the work you have explored.
    Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your process. I learn so much from poets when they do that.

  8. Love this. The bubble boy is absolutely charming. :)


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