Saturday, April 20, 2019

ARTSPEAK: Happy! poem "Fiddle Song" by Irene Latham

Welcome to ARTSPEAK: Happy! my 2019 National Poetry Month poem a day project, in which I am responding to pieces of art that make me happy. Read why in my introductory post.

Poems so far:
Girl in a Yellow Dress after "A Girl in a Yellow Dress, 1917" by Amedeo Modigliani
When the Stars Come to Town after "Cafe Terrace at Night" by Vincent van Gogh
On a Golden Day in May after "Checkered House" by Grandma Moses
Beach Time after "Children Playing on the Beach" by Mary Cassatt
The Weight of Happiness after "Flower Seller" by Diego Rivera
By the Sea "Coastal Scene with Gulls" by Maud Lewis
Sister Song after an untitled piece by Henry Darger
Two Cows after "2 Cows" by Maud Lewis
Girl in Hat after "Girl in Hat" by Norman Lewis
Backstage after "Dancers in Green and Yellow" by Edgar Degas. 
"So Many Suns" after Kohbar of Mithila
"To an Olive Tree" after Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun by Vincent van Gogh
"Three Black Cats" after Three Black Cats by Maud Lewis
"When Grandma Reads" after Mrs. Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren by Mary Cassatt
"On a June Afternoon" after Pigeon on a Peach Branch by Emperor Huizong
"On the Water" after On the Water by Mary Cassatt
"Autumn Prayer" after Red Vineyard at Arles by Vincent van Gogh
"Julie Manet with Cat" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
"When a Horse Writes a Poem" after Horse Head on a Yellow Background 1953 by Fernand Leger.

Today's piece is The Fiddler by Marc Chagall. This one was a bit of a challenge for me. While fiddle music generally makes me happy, this piece could be interpreted as "blue." But this is intended to be a happy poem, so I had to abandon those blue thoughts... and it was hard! Anyhow, this is where I landed.

Fiddle Song
- after "The Fiddler" by Marc Chagall

In winter the fiddler
shrugs into his boots,
takes to the roof
to shake snow from the sky.

Soon clear melodies
climb smoking chimneys.
Birds waltz with steeples,
and townsfolk gather
to sing along.

Nothing can cheer you
like the fiddler in winter –
can you hear
that sweet fiddle song?

- Irene Latham


Be sure to visit Buffy's Blog for the latest line in our Progressive Poem!


  1. Love this image of the fiddler shaking snow from the sky and making music to chase away winter's gray!

  2. "Fiddler in winter" - I just want to say this over and over again. I really want to hear the stories of this fiddler... xx

  3. It is the happiness brought, even in winter, by the fiddler that makes that happy poem to me, Irene. I love reading "shake snow from the sky". The painting is lovely, too.


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