Monday, April 24, 2017

ARTSPEAK! Portraits poem "The Postman in Spring"

Hello and welcome to day 24 of ARTSPEAK! Portraits, my 2017 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 Amy at The Poem Farm  to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing! 

And now, here are the ARTSPEAK! Portraits poems so far:

23. "Dark the Day" after Little Dutch Girl by Robert Henri
22. "Tiger" after Tiger by Hwang Jong-ha
21. "Self-Portrait as a Painter" after Self-Portrait as a Painter by Vincent van Gogh
20. "What to Do in the Desert" after Nubian Girl by Ervand Demirdjian
19. "In Summer" after In Summer by Auguste-Pierre Renoir
18. "Night" after The Outlier by Frederic Sackrider Remington
17. "Boy Blowing Bubbles" after The Bubble Boy by Paul Peel
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 another van Gogh. This painting reminds me of my father, who could look intimidating because of his size and the beard, but really was a softie. Here's what Joseph Roulin would like you to know:

The Postman in Spring
- after Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin, April 1888 by Vincent van Gogh

I am more
than brass buttons
and a postman's cap.
My beard isn't just brown –
it's gingersnap.

My eyes nail
you to the floor
for at least a minute,
            maybe more.
Those bouquets dancing
behind my head?

They're there
so you'll know
my soul is       soft
           as a featherbed.

- Irene Latham


  1. Van Gogh must have seen something in that face as you did Irene. What seems like an unlikely subject is beautiful. Your opening lines "more than brass buttons, and a postman's cap" says well to look again, to find that "other".

  2. Love the fun you had with this one. I knew you'd utilize those flowers, but the gingersnap beard is perfect for this whimsical portrait.

  3. Any poem that holds a gingersnap is good with me. This is lovely and fun and true.


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