For years I have been wanting to pen a collection of poems on the early works of van Gogh, where everything is both existential search and haunting expressiveness. Lately I discovered that the short, sketchy manuscript probably has disappeared in the dungeons of changing computers. Luckily you are never quite on your own with poetry on Van Gogh. Here are ten very successful attempts of seeing Van Gogh.
Tina Schumann: Van Gogh in Chicago
There is such a thing as a Van Gogh-moment. Like when you see him somewhere he has never set foot
Denise Bundred: At Eternity’s Gate
The poet Denise Bundred envisions the possibly finest achievement of Van Gogh: His ability to see existential emotion in things
Rhett Watts: Field Work
What are the qualifications of a saint? Somebody who in the spur of the moment forget themselves
Lee Woodman: To Step Inside His Mind
Large scale Van Gogh: A 16,000 square foot installation on Pier 36, NYC (2021). All the dots and strokes of longing for something as yet unknown become visible
Mary Moore: To the Miscarried Child, Van Gogh’s Irises At Arles
There was never a Van Gogh that did not contain an - if often labyrinthic - path to empathy
Barbara Crooker: Ears of Wheat, 1890
The artist at work; the observer observed: "no blade too slight for his attention: long swaying brush strokes"
Barbara Crooker: Van Gogh's Crows
The black bird remain the unsolvable mystery. The crows, the timeless raven, even the jackdaw, every autumn filling the sky with the black waves of the giant flocks over my city
Crystal Snoddon: With Van Gogh, I Hear Music
Lots has been said. Here it is said in a very concise way: a spirited thirst/ a scream of controlled turbulence
Robert Walicki: On Seeing a Stranger Witness Wheatfield With Crows
The crows again, with the notion of time, embedded in their flight: "... when I first saw you,/
frozen into a past ..."
Christian Reifsteck: This is the Last Picture that Van Gogh Painted Before He Killed Himself
The crows for the last time. And the wheatfield: "What if we looked into everything and saw only ourselves ..." But luckily we don't. If in Van Gogh the confused flight of the crows are our latent state of mind, the wheat is always also a prayer
Jakob Brønnum has published 45 books of poetry and prose as well as other work in his native Danish. His work has appeared in La Piccioletta Barca, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review and the anthology New Contexts 4 (Coverstory Books, 2022). One of his books is translated into the Norwegian, one into Serbian. In 1992 a poem appeared in the legendary Literaturnaja Gazeta (in Russian). His first collection in English, A Little Book of Transcendence, was recently published by Cyberwit. He lives in Sweden with his family
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