Poetry Challenge: Mona Lisa’s Smile

This poetry challenge is about the smile of the famous Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo Da Vinci.  The lady’s smile (and it has been said that she may not be all ‘she’ seems) is one of the most enigmatic smiles ever painted. To submit your poem or haiku which can be as profound, humorous, long or short as you like, either submit in the comments section here or send it by email to me and I will put it on this page.  You can use the logo on your blog – but please link to me:)  The challenge is write a poem or a haiku about that smile, or the lady or the relationship between the artist and the lady.  Here’s mine:-

The Lips don’t lie

Shut up!



Mona Lisa

As I try to

Keep the brush steady

With my ingenious strokes…

Whilst your countenance



If only they knew

What a shrew

And a nag

You are

My muse,

And the amount

Of abuse

I take

As you smile…

Well, they would run

A mile

And not waste their sighs

Nor their wonderings why’s?

On your enigmatic smile…

If only they knew you…

Like I…..

Lynda M Roberts  ©2010

Poem No; 2 is by Kserverny who IS the artswebshow – check out his blog HERE

Moaner Lisa.


Only one other woman ever smiled at me this way.

A repressed smile.

A prudent glare that wracks me with guilt, for a crime i have yet to commit.

her name was also Lisa.

The moaner Lisa.

And i wonder why i have to sit at night,

And contemplate how to shut you up.


“Do this, do that”

you neigh with that horrid half smile that say’s,

“get to work my dear domestic slave”


I reflect intently on my  lost youth.

Consider how to end this dilemna.


Or something more radical.

Anything to remove that infuriating smirk from your face.

Who am i kidding?

I will still take your smile to my grave.

Poem No:3 is by 47whitebuffalo – Check out her wondeful blog, full of artistic delights HERE

entering your court

alone, worn soles floor kissing

sharing silence smirk



own secrets lacking

you made all mysterious

pale reality


The 4th poem is from incomplete History and it’s our first Haiku!

A haiku:

Mona Lisa smile.
Scream! Scream two, scream three…last summer…
I know what you did

Our 5th poem is from RASH 11 who has some wonderful and unusual poem on his blog and it’s seen from Mona Lisa’s perspective for a change:-


September 29, 2010 by patrickseguin 

Written and posted in response to Lynda Roberts’ Bookstains Poetry Challenge: Mona Lisa’s Smile  

I’ve been dead so many times
that all the secrets of the grave
blur and roll and rumble
through my soft sideway stare
and impossible smile 

beyond the flash and comprehension
of my fanny-packed audience
I’m not the spectacle
they think I am 

just another ghost
stuck between limbo
and hell 

wishing I could fade
into the cold mountains
at my back 

or at least rise up
turn away
and relearn the pleasure
of strolling down
smooth winding paths
into the hard blue water
crashing along my shore 

Our 6th poem is by Adam Dustus – who has a wonderful blog, full of poems, writings and very clever and inspirational photography!  Find him HERE

Knowing What He Didn’t Know

Her eyes couldn’t help but glow
Knowing what he didn’t know
There is someone missing
From cradling arms
Lisa’s lips hath subtle charm
Under cover of dark dress
For life she holds a child blessed

Our next poem (No:7) is from Gabriela Abalo.  She has a lovely blog with short stories, and poetry – her blog has the apt title ‘Embracing who we are’.  Please check it out:)


I am an eternal freak
The keeper of an everlasting mystery
Which is the secret of my vanishing grim?
Light or darkness makes a difference
Sometimes you see it
Sometimes you don’t

Games of your mind
Mirror of your emotions
I am me and I am you
A light hearted-woman
Or a Hermaphrodite?
To hold the enigma
Is my stigma

I am my master in disguise
If you really look you can see we are alike
I am not the mother
I am not the son
Since I am both and none

I am his masterpiece
His life companion
His mirror
Not his darkest secret
But his portrait of humankind

I am left and right
Masculine and feminine
Good and bad
The one with two faces
Who smiles and cries
At the same time

Yesterday, today and tomorrow
I am the world’s sorrow
I keep a mystery that none can borrow

I am Mona Lisa
So they say, so you say
I am La Gioconda
The one with the most famous, elegant smile
The entire world will ever talk about


© Gabriela Abalo


Poem number 8 is a sonnet!  It has been contributed by Steve, whose blog Heednotsteve is enough to cheer anyone up with his wit, rhymes and life observations – please give it a visit:)

As Lisa sat, some centuries ago,
she surely didn’t hold a careful pose.
For, even as the artist placed her so,
she must’ve licked her lips or scratched her nose

or blinked her eyes or shifted in her seat,
if only while the artist looked away,
his eyes returning, every time, to greet
her pose, unchanged, throughout the stifling day.

The artist would’ve known, but could ignore
her minor change in posture.  For the light
revealed to him composite truths.  And, more,
his brush obeyed those vagaries of sight.

Enigma never lived in Mona’s smile.
It stems, instead, from Leonardo’s guile.


© Steve Mitchell 2010

Our 9th poem in the Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is from bendedspoon who has a cheerful, happy and delightful blog (please take a look)

Mona Lisa by Da Vinci

Sorry world

please don’t hate me

but for the life of me

until now I can’t fathom

why Mona Lisa’s smile

is so famous.

Yes I love the painting

but the smile is all like other smiles

they are all special and meaningful.

Tell me, if back then

one of these faces was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci

and it was claimed that the smile is most enigmatic

don’t you think we will not rave about it to the end?

The Smile

To repeat, please don’t hate me

because I admire Leonardo Da Vinci deeply

and Mona Lisa knows I love her

just like the rest of the Wonderful girls.

Lynda this is my smiling piece

for your Mona Lisa poetry challenge.

Just for the fun of it. Smile!


Our 10th contribution is a Haiku from Abigal Parker – she writes a Haiku a day!  Check out her blog here

Mona Lisa’s smile
soothes our gaze and dissipates
the twisted distance.

 It’s never too late to enter my poetry challenges! 

Here’s a contribution for Chubbypenny whose poetry log is a labrynth of very original poems you must take a look!

Mona Lisa snicker

i didn’t know him well, in fact hardly at all
and i’d never before sat to pose.
his idea was silly, really off the wall
~to paint me on a stool without my clothes.
he said he was interested only in my eyes,
of course i knew there was something more.
his brushes and oil were just a disguise
and he wanted my clothes to drop to the floor.
i decided to humor him with a very sly smile
and sat there quietly while he wondered why.
but my lips were tightly sealed all the while
never telling him he’d left open his fly.
i never knew what the fuss was about,
people have questioned my smile for years.
yes, his fly was open but nothing flew out
or else i’d have been laughing until there were tears
so all this time I’ve heard experts bicker
about the real reason behind my smile
but really, I must say it was more of a snicker
and everyone missed it by a mile.

© Chubbypenny 2011


28 thoughts on “Poetry Challenge: Mona Lisa’s Smile

  1. Kserverny you rule! Brilliant! thought of you taking that smile to your grave though…. :0
    what is this crime that wracks you with guilt that you haven’t committed yet? Just go and DO it – take no notice of Moaner…lol
    Wonderful contribution – and I thank you for it:)

    1. Brilliant homage to Mona, Eva! I’ve often wondered at the ‘mystery’ versus the ‘pale reality’ of this woman/person. I can only guess why those soles are worn through…..too much homage?
      Thanks for joining in and promoting – very appreciated:)

      1. LOL–those soles were worn by a couple of months of footing it through London, Scotland, Dublin, Sligo, Le Harve, Rouen–you get the idea–planes, trains, buses, WALKING. In truth I unexpectedly had lots of time alone with Mona in an otherwise totally empty museum room in the Louvre–just because no one else was there!
        —Question: Whence comes the mystery?–from US or from Her?

  2. I don’t know how – but I seem to have TWO Mona Lisa pages! Incomplete History has just contributed a very interesting haiku (our first) I will comment further on Mona’s twins page:D

  3. Pingback: Framed « RASH II
  4. Thanks to Patrick Seguin for ‘Framed’! He speaks for Mona Lisa, the ghost trapped behind the glass, smiling for her audience that crowds around her. This is a wonderfully sad and haunting poem – well done Patrick:)

  5. I enjoyed Patrick’s poem very much. Mona the mysterious not wanting anything more than some personal peace. Thanks, PS!
    Lynda, I like making these connections between visual and word artists. What/who is next?

  6. Mmmm, well I got a few ideas up my sleeve, but ones a kind of obscure thing so prob wont interest many people.
    It IS a good poem isn’t it!! I love the way everyone interprets these paintings very differently, really looking forward to doing more of these challenges (which reminds me….I haven’t contributed to the Van Gogh one myself yet!!)

    1. Thanks Steve! Its a good one too! I love the idea of her scratching her nose, and getting back into position when Leonardo looks at her – never quite sure…..It gives her a playful side:)

  7. A delighful contribution bendedspoon! I like how you have made us all into Mona Lisa’s! You’re right – Mona Lisa is after all just a painting – we are the real unvarnished thing and special in our own right! 😀

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