Tuesday, April 23, 2019

ARTSPEAK: Happy! poem "To a Sunflower"

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
"The Letter" after The Letter by Mary Cassatt

Today's piece is Sunflowers (F457) by Vincent van Gogh -- which is kind of intimidating, because his series of sunflower paintings are so well known. And: what can I possibly say about sunflowers that hasn't already been said? This has definitely been the hardest one to write so far this month. But I only allow myself one hour... here's were I landed.

To A Sunflower
- after "Sunflowers" by Vincent van Gogh

O big bloomer,
you, who won't be ignored –

your boldness reminds me
to face the sun, no matter the hour

your bright face inspires me
to smile at everything –

clouds, rain and even bees,
those busy flyers

who buzz around
dressed in your colors,

worshipping you as I do,

summer's happy golden queen.

- Irene Latham

Be sure to visit Penny at a penny and her jots for the latest line in our Progressive Poem!


  1. Grabbing a little bit of that boldness for this Tuesday! Thanks for another good one!

  2. Love that you assigned a personality to the sunflower!

  3. "Summer's happy golden queen." Sunflowers truly rule summer. I love seeing entire fields of them in Kansas and this painting is a perfect pairing with your poem.


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