Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ARTSPEAK! Portraits poem "Gratitude"

Hello and welcome to day 25 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 Robyn (whose name has been gifted by AmyLV to a poem-parrot!) at Life on the Deckle Edge to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing!

Also, @newsbookology featured me today on a podcast reading "Dear Wandering Wildebeest." I invite you to give it a listen!

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

24. "The Postman in Spring" after Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin, April 1888 by Vincent van Gogh
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 "Tahitian Woman's Head" by Paul Gaugin. I love the sweetness of this woman's expression, and of course the flower in her hair. Here's what she told me:

- after “Tahitian Woman's Head” by Paul Gaugin

And I would give you
from the morning's
first coconut

a symphony
of palm fronds,
     the scent of salt

I would give you
the eye of every hurricane,
     waves to bathe
your every shore

this red dress
with its lace collar,
    this brown skin

all the sunshine
     that lives inside
an island flower

all the sunshine

     the sun

- Irene Latham

Why gratitude? Why not? This woman's face is soft and open... I would like to BE her more often. Her face just looks like gratitude to me.


  1. This is glorious, Irene. The first fruits only an island and islander could offer...beautiful and tender and healing as the sun. Just, lovely.


Your thoughts?