Monday, April 22, 2019

ARTSPEAK: Happy! poem "The Letter" 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.
"Fiddle Song" after The Fiddler by Marc Chagall
"A Dream of Yellow" after Tree Against a Yellow Background by Odilon Redon

Today's piece is The Letter by Mary Cassatt. As a longtime lover of mail -- it's what happens when you move around a lot -- this piece makes me very happy to look at. And so, here you go...

The Letter
after "The Letter" by Mary Cassatt

Hi, I write
to my friend
who lives
in a different

How are you?
I am fine.
Except ...
I miss you
all the time.

I sign my name.
I fold

I imagine
my friend
this letter –

right away
I feel better!

- Irene Latham

Be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core for the next line in our Progressive Poem!



  1. I love today's painting, and the poem you made from it!

  2. The person who wrote me the most was one grandmother and I treasured her letters, have one I've saved. Yes, mail is a like a hug from someone. Love the painting, as you do, and your poem, that imagining, is true! Thanks, Irene!

  3. Thanks for this -- appreciate the art and your lovely poem. I'm a big letter fan too. Miss my dad's letters -- he has the nicest penmanship.

  4. I have been clearing out old boxes and I am a saver. I have letters and the special ones bring such a smile to my face. I know we have all the social media ways now and of course email and blog comments to keep connected, but a lovely handwritten letter, is a treasure from the heart. Special letters, even if simple mean so much. And I feel that in your poem. We have the book with Harry Truman's letters to his wife Bess. It is a real treasure trove. So interesting.Your project and your poems make me think. Janet Clare F.

  5. I still love receiving a handwritten letter in my mailbox. And I have ones I've saved over the years. It's fun to revisit them and listen to voices of loved ones revealed through their words. There's something special there. Thanks for the poem and lovely painting.

  6. Your poem speaks to the joy of not only receiving a letter, but of being the person who took the time write it: fold, stuff, seal.


Your thoughts?