Bio Note: Here’s another poem from my new book. Those of you who know my work know I love ekphrastic poetry (poetry that has a conversation with painting); I’ll be teaching a workshop on this at Poetry by the Sea in a beautiful setting (former Sisters of Mercy Convent, on Long Island Sound) in May: http://www.poetrybytheseaconference.org/
Henri Matisse, Fair Use License
HARMONY IN RED, 1908
~Henri Matisse When I got the color red—to be sure, I don’t know. I find that all these things. . . only become what they are to me when I see them together with the color red. ~Henri Matisse
Time has stopped here, just as madame is paused, still rearranging oranges and lemons in her compote bowl. Only a faint pencil line demarks the border between table and wall; everything the same fabric: red of aged bricks scrolled with blue arabesques and vases of flowers and fruits. Terra cotta rolled from his brush with the heat of a wild beast, spilled from wall to table to floor. The room vibrates with blood. Outside the window frame, there’s a green meadow dancing with marguerites and flowering trees. While inside the red room, it is still. The table is set, the clock has wound down. Nothing moves or breaks the spell, except this hot liquid, arterial spill.
First published in Some Glad Morning, Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press, 2019
©2020 Barbara Crooker
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