“Landscape, Dusk” and a question about inspiration…(National Poetry Month Posts, Day 23)

For my 23rd National Poetry Month post, I wanted to share a piece of my verse that was inspired by the above George Wesley Bellows painting (I am very fond of the The Ashcan School of artists, of which Bellows was a founding member), “Criehaven Large”. Please enjoy!

Are there artists who inspire your poetry? Let me know in the comments!

Landscape, dusk

The night is coming, slowly,
as long as a parson’s speech.
The fields are reticent and cling
to the fading sun like addicts.
It’s too soon to give it up.

The trees shake,
a breeze whispers some gossip
about the dark to them, girlish anticipation quakes
through their leaves.

The sheep raise their coin slot eyes to the sky,
seeing, but not seeing,
knowing enough to disapprove of the field’s actions.

The daytime sky has given up,
shackled and shuffling
toward its inevitable conclusion.

The night may be a blanket, though,
not a chloroform-soaked rag.
If the fields can kick the habit,
the trees can get their facts straight,
the sheep can share their knowledge, and if
the daytime sky gets off for good behavior,
darkness’ half nelson just might turn out to be
a warm embrace.

The night a time for flights of fancy, until
the bright dawn arrives young and fresh
to kiss her dark brother on the cheek, and
kick start the day’s engine once again.

© Jamy Sweet 2010-04-11




12 thoughts on ““Landscape, Dusk” and a question about inspiration…(National Poetry Month Posts, Day 23)

  1. That’s a great idea to come up with a poem based on a painting since both help us to look at the world in different ways. Van Gogh is probably the most inspirational for me but I never really know until I see something that strikes me for whatever reason. I love these lines from your poem: “The fields are reticent and cling/ to the fading sun like addicts.”


  2. Jamy, what a vivid response to this wonderful painting! I love all the figurative language you use, and especially the series of “if” images in stanza 5. The poem is so kinetic–lots of movement!

    For painters, I’m fascinated by Canadian artist Emily Carr. Her landscapes of the old Pacific coast–as its timber was in the process of being cleared for the first time–leave me, currently, speechless. They’re so vibrant that I do hope to write about them someday.

    Cheers, and I’m looking forward to any more wonderful ekphrasis you may be planning on doing!


  3. hey, jamy thanks again for voting me at the poetry challenge, means a lot to me… i’ll be following around so please expect me 🙂

    anyways, i liked your concept of being inspired by a painting, never wrote a poem out of it so i’d better try it someday. nice indeed:)

    my nickname is Jam by the way, I, sometimes called Jami by my close friends..isn’t it a coincidence ?? 🙂


  4. Score! So many great lines. I love the similes in the beginning, and that you used both a parson and an addict in adjacent lines. Nice juxtaposition. I also love the sheeps’ coin-slot eyes. The painting and the poem remind me of being in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

    As for artists who inspire me? Van Gogh’s paintings of people, particularly the poor street urchins make me want to write. My friend Michael McFarland’s paintings inspire me a great deal. It’s delightful that he tells me my poems make him want to paint because his paintings make me want to write poems. http://mcfarlandart.com


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