Friday, May 28, 2021

"Why Roses" poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle at Michelle Kogan for Roundup.

I'm in with a quick kind-of-experimental latest poem in my ArtSpeak: Four Seasons series. As many of you know, van Gogh is my artist of choice. Today's piece is one he created while in the asylum, so I put it in his voice—and I tried to create something that could be read in two different ways: both as a traditional l-r poem and as 2-poems-in-1 (when read in columns). What a challenge! I'm sure I'll keep tinkering, but here's where I've landed for now.

Speaking of tinkering: so many thanks for friends sending notes after reading D-39 (and meeting tinkerer-heroine Klynt!). Truly, it means so much to hear your reactions. Mwah! Thank you so much for reading!

Why Roses

because—                                  asylum walls
                                                   are grey

because I have—                        thorns

I remember                                 Paris—

(ribbons of pink                          hopeful green)

because my song
is paint &                                    brushstrokes—

I am                                             alive!

- Irene Latham


  1. Irene, I love the way you crafted your poem. It is a two-for-one surprise. I am sure that this type of poem takes patience and much reflection to make it flow smoothly. I look forward to reading "D-39".

  2. It's a creative idea, Irene, & "all three" read well. I like reading with the backstory & the painting especially, though. I finally got D-39, on my list next! Happy Weekend!

  3. Love the back and forth and the whole!

  4. Irene, very nice with your double poem. It is fun to read both sides and as a complete poem. I can see that must have been a challenge. "hopeful green / brushstrokes / alive" Your poem gives us a painting of words of van Gogh.

  5. My favorite of your assortment here is reading it left to right, because I like the bittersweet offerings it gives us, and it speaks from some of his deep despair—nice challenge, thanks Irene!

  6. Oh! I love this in all three iterations. What a challenge you set yourself and how beautifully you met it!

  7. This is so great. I love the ribbons of pink and hopeful green. And choosing alive.

  8. You are a master of craft. Oh, to have a week long workshop with you just think of how much I would learn...Consider doing this sometime. I am deep into D-39 and have trouble focusing on the plot because the language is so intriguing. (Not to mention my brain is Mayfried) I'd love to know more about your writing process.

  9. I am looking forward to getting my copy of D-39.
    Your poem works on so many levels. I loved the painting he did in the asylum. Well done, Irene.

  10. Oh, Irene, this one really got me. I adore Van Gogh and love what you've done with this. Beautiful.

  11. I love this, Irene. Your poem reminds me of a quote of Van Gogh's about turning off the inner critic. He said that to deal with the voice that says you can't make art -- "by all means... paint!"


Your thoughts?