Saturday, July 21, 2012




(A haiku)

Capturing the wind
Making music with the breeze
Metallic bird-song
Van Gogh


A perfect human-being could not have painted this.
Good health and eyesight would have made things bland;
Only Van Gogh's imperfections caused this brilliant view,
The brain imparting colour to the hand.
He was affected doubly, by digitalis and lead;
It is thought that these two poisons made him see
A world of sunflower yellowness, of circles and of swirls,
Unlike our world of dull conformity.
Lead-based paints were culprits; they made the retina swell,
So that he saw distortions everywhere;
He took digitalis for epilepsy, from the foxglove plant;
This caused him to see yellow in the air.
We admire Van Gogh for perfection; his view of the world is revered.
So if modern medicine leads to health perfection,
Will 'perfect' works of art become the exception, not the rule?
Are we moving in a healthy, but dull, direction?

1 comment:

Margaret Gosden said...

Such a wonderful, gifted artist, trained at a very early age, yet supposedly produced distorted paintings as a result of lead poisoning, not as a result of discovery working through the creative process? Shame on you, my long time friend!