connoisseur by Norman Rockwell
Adam Dustus who has a wonderful poetry blog kindly suggested a poetry challenge which featured this painting – The Coinnoissoir’ by Norman Rockwell. I have called the challenge ‘The Art of Progress’ because of the corresponding post I wrote over on Echostains – which also provides a link for this challenge. Clicking any of the paintings will take you over there to see what I’ve written about this painting and the other two – and why I think they represent ‘progress’. The challenge is to write a poem or Haiku about ‘progress’. You can use any of the pictures as a prompt or just write about ‘progress’ itself. The poem can be serious, humourous, short or lengthy.
The Railway Station by William Powell Frith, RA. 1862
The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains (as well as having creative fun) so therefore it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge.
In return the poem is copied to the challenges particular page and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website.
If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it. This is a genuine challenge – so please play fair:-)
I wracked my brains trying to decide which painting to go with, but just couldn’t decide. So, I thought I would just write a short Acrostic poem about progress itself and what it means. Sometimes progress is no such thing. It can be two steps forward then two steps back – so in effect you can go all around the houses to end up in the same place! Sometimes we over complicate the simplest of things – sometimes the old way can be the best. Sometimes the act of being seen to be progressing – progression for progressions sake can actually be destructive.
Paving the way to a future uncluttered,
Ripping down structures all boarded and shuttered
Oiling the wheels of our Brave New World
Gasping for air as through life we are hurled
Ringing the changes whilst wringing our hands
Eking existance in strange no mans land
Searching for new ways, disgarding the old
Seeking the grail but finding fools gold.
©Lynda M Roberts 2010
Turner The Fighting Temeraire 1839
Jessicasjapes who has a wonderful poetry and prose blog has contributed this poem based upon Frith’s painting ‘The Railway’ Thanks Jessica!
The Railway Station by William Powell Frith 1862.
I stand on the station,
my eyes assaulted by the throng:
The fretting lady, flushed and hyperventilating,
begging with unladylike candour,
a loved pet dog to carry onboard,
her remonstrances ignored by officious officialdom.
The bossy family, self centred and fraught,
hurrying behind a flustered porter,
luggage heaving en masse,
loyal wife dragging indulged children.
The foreign tourist, feigning ignorance,
reluctant to submit precious monies,
the cabbie insistent and world-weary,
outstretched hand insistent.
The brave warrior heroes, uniformed and disciplined,
fighting red-eyed mistiness,
parting loved ones for distant fields of fire,
love torn for country and family.
The wedding party, tearful with happiness,
wishing everlasting good fortune,
excited whispers deafened by announcements,
a bride departing for a new chapter.
The schoolboys, motherly embraced,
hiding embarassment and apprenhension,
a fresh scholarly challenge awaiting,
far from the warm bosom of home.
The professional criminal, outfoxed and undone,
restrained within a foot of freedom,
apprended in full view of tired wife,
a future apart within walls.
A railway scene in 2010?
No, a flashback memory of 1862.
People remain the same.
© Jessica D’Angelo 2010
Our third contribution is from turtle memoirs. Please check out this wonderful creative blog! The poem is called ‘Coinnoisseur’ and it is based upon the Rockwell painting.
Call me a connoisseur of love.
I stand in front of modern paintings,
study them till eyes go thick with tears
and paint runs thin again—fast and faster
colour flows to colour back in time, now there
it is, no there, and there… and ever further back
to reconstruction of first moments, the big bang
of creativity that gives me now, this universe
before me. Outside of time I realize futility
in such thinking—how can there be start
or endpoint to what’s circular?
New eyes fit patchwork pieces back together.
I gaze in wonder at this painter’s perfect rendering of vision.
Where is the love the artist felt in painting?
Does it live in colour, easel, frame? Is it light
that shines now in my heart, a knowledge new,
this vision of my own?—All that and more…
A patchwork quilt of moments fuelled by
an inner flame lit long before we knew
the boundaries of time, now waiting
on our rediscovery of desire to keep
forever burning our love creations,
to pass forward, let them linger
in an other’s senses, light
©Turtle Memoirs 2010
Our fourth poem comes from Adam Dustus, poet, novelist and graphic artist, Please take look at this interesting blog!
Standing in the Way
Paid dues to just remain
Such maddening illusion
Norm standing in the way
©Adam Dustus 2010