Vincent

paintings-vincent-van-gogh-13336296-1036-840

“What a Strange Thing Touch Is.”

Like a saint’s relics

they’re displayed

for us to venerate

out of reach under glass

palettes, paints & brushes.

Yellowing paper ages

his urgent hand

fading ink leaks

his lifeblood along

the sun’s certain circuit.

*                  *                      *

Like a jailer confiscating blades

Peyron locked away his deadly paints

and the sun’s white glare.

*               *                  *                     *

If we could we’d keep

his fierce sun

beating in our breasts.

The quote above is from one of his many letters to Theo his brother. He is talking about the touch of his brush on the canvas but could just as well be thinking of human touch. When he was confined in an asylum he would swallow oil paint during episodes of  emotional turmoil. Various suggestions have been offered to identify the exact nature of his mental illness ranging from epilepsy to bipolar.

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2 comments on “Vincent

  1. erikleo says:

    This brings back memories as I played it to pupils when I taught art – suppressing tears!

    Like

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