Tuesday, April 2, 2019

ARTSPEAK: Happy! "When the Stars Come to Town" poem by Irene Latham

Happy  National Poetry Month! I'm excited to be continuing my ARTSPEAK series -- this year with poems on the theme of "Happy." Read why in my introductory post.

Girl in a Yellow Dress after "A Girl in a Yellow Dress, 1917" by Amedeo Modigliani.

Today's piece is inspired by "Cafe Terrace at Night" by Vincent van Gogh. I think I might have had Charles Ghigna's book THE NIGHT THE FOREST CAME TO TOWN in my head! I do like that this poem is round, in that it ends up with the line that started it -- all snug and happy!

When the Stars Come to Town
after “Cafe Terrace at Night” by Vincent van Gogh

When the stars come to town
and the moon rises round
we cobble down stone streets
counting the smiles we meet.

Little dogs prance,
someone's playing guitar.
We forget for a while
our worries, our scars –

And the world is electric,
our feet step-glide-kick

as we feast on laughter – so easy, so sweet!
and dance our way down the street
when the moon rises round
and the stars come to town.

- Irene Latham

Be sure to visit Kathryn Apel for Kat's line in our 2019 Progressive Poem, now in progress!


  1. Hey Irene, I am being your number one fangirl on my blog today. Hope you can stop by! https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2019/04/npm-day-2.html

  2. Beautiful. I love "when the world is electric" - in word and truth. Way out here in the country, the stars are always bright, and for this I am grateful. xxxx

  3. "And we feast on laughter - so easy, so sweet!" Another smile today, Irene. Thank you!

  4. This poem makes me so happy. That's one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings. Love how your lines circle back. This brings to mind not only Charles's book but Cynthia Rylant's The Van Gogh Cafe. All good!!

  5. Your poem has me longing to dance and twirl giddily with you along this street under those stars!

  6. Love that the painting is predominantly blue and yellow, my favorite colors. Love, love, love
    "when the moon rises round
    and the stars come to town."
    This month with you is going to be delightfully happy!

  7. I also like the roundness of this poem, the way it comes full circle. I did a little research on this painting and think you capture the joy he must have felt while painting the scene.

  8. I'm putting together a collection of picture books to talk with teachers about finding texts that can help our writers envision new possibilities. As I was finishing, I realized I needed to also add digital texts to the collection. At the same time, I was looking for something that had a circular structure where the beginning and end are the same. Like this! I hope you don't mind if I pass it along as we think of possibilities for our writers.

    There were so many things to love about the craft of this poem: the word choice, the step-glide-click, all the soft s sounds. Oh my! I'm coming back to read this one again.

  9. Oh, this poem so captures happiness! There's an infectious giddy, joyous feel to it. I shared this with my students yesterday and they loved it, too.


Your thoughts?