Poetry Challenge ‘Weeping Woman why do you weep?’


The inspiration behind this poetry challenge is Picasso’s very famous painting ‘The Weeping woman‘.  It was painted in 1937 as a protest against the war in Guernica and the Luftwaffe’ bombing  under the orders of Franco.   The woman weeps, pain is upon her face, a handkerchief is held to her eyes.  The inspiration comes from a letter written by the artists mother who reported the smoke from the bombing making her eyes water. 

 There is also a religious significance associated with the painting as Mater Dolorosa , the Weeping Virgin is a figure in Spanish art.  The glass tears are often represented in Baroque art. The painting is a real expression of raw emotion and fear of the future and the very real danger that every woman’s son faces in war. The weeping woman paintings follows the  Guernica one.  In that painting the woman is seen screaming – holding up her dead baby.

The woman who modelled for this painting was Picasso’s muse and lover at the time, Dora Marr.  Their relationship was fraught with difficulty.  Picasso wasn’t an easy man.  He said that Marr cried more than any woman he ever knew, but considering his treatment of her – it’s hardly surprising.  

 The challenge is to write a poem or haiku about the woman and why you think she is crying.  It really doesn’t have to be about war and loss – just about what you think see within the portrait.  Be creative – weave a story! 

How it works;-

To contribute, write your piece and either send an email to me

or if the poem is short – add it to the comments

Please note;-

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 – please play fair:-) 

You may use the weeping woman image as a button if you wish

More about Dora Maar and her relationship with Picasso here

Our very first poem is from Heed not Steve whose prose and poetry blog can be found here – please give it a visit:)

as garish storms howl
tears give frail voice

© Steve Mitchell 2010


Our second contribution is a Haiku from Margaret Dornaus  thanks Margeret, don’t forget to link to me:)

Poor Dora: Why weep?
Your tears, like glass shards, frozen
for eternity.

Margaret Dornaus 


Our 3rd poem is by Adam Dustus who has a great blog full of wonderful poetry and photography and some very interesting poetry challenges!  Please check it out here

Why I Weep


How dare you!
Look at me this way
Is that what you see
When caressing my face?

Ruins of life
Can’t recognize me
Chewing on glass like a petrified machine
Crying out razor blade tears with ice peaks

Sacrificing love
Art suffering
Overwhelmed by thoughts of stroke
Between us there’s a missing piece…

When I held you many nights
Soothing each tormenting cry
My tears you paint as worldly truth
Unable to ease your troubled mind


©Adam Dustus 2010

Our fourth poem is from  Kserverny who is the artswebshow!  If you haven’t checked his blog out yet – please do, it’s full of poetry, recipes, performance art, handwritten songs and a great place!

Why does my cubist face weep?
i’ll tell you why.
No one wants to kiss such a sharp face.
hell, i’ll cut your lips to pieces.
My nose would spear your cheek,
and leave you bleeding in the rain.
Glasses don’t fit me.
So i’m left with this horrible squint.
Don’t tell me it’s charismatic.
Whoever created me must have had a good laugh.
All that’s left is for me to cry.
Poor me.
Poor, poor, poor me.
i weep

©Kservrny aka the artswebshow 2010


It’s about time I contributed to my own challenge – so the fifth contribution is from me;- 

A Weepy Conversation


Weeping woman why do you cry?
Muse to genius such as I!
Your tears spill down and spoil my paint!
Too much emotion!  No restraint!

I give you fame – yet still you weep!
A bottomless well that runs too deep!
No gratitude – just endless tears
For sharing my creative years!

(Weeping woman)

My precious tears are not for you!
Do not suppose that they’re YOUR due!
Your latest muse usurps my place
These tears are JOY upon MY face!

Lynda M Roberts 2010


Our 6th contribution is from Julia Rose (sorry but theres no link I’m afraid).  Thanks anyway Julia – lovely!

Why I Cry ?

I watch the rising souls
Life ended short and cold
Genocide spores like mold

Lifeless invaders
Tears shader then fall
my unspoken words
here in my napkin
Too be read by all

~~Julia Rose~~


Our 7th poem comes from Kavita, her fabulous poetry blog ‘How I write is mine – how you read is yours’ is here – please check it out and you won’t be disappointed!

Reflecting as I cry
While pressing to deny
All charges slumped on me
That scare and horrify
I strain to nullify

Inside a glacial tear
Safe is the gnawing fear
‘Cause I’d want none to see
Those lies I buried here
Incisive as the spear

Without a rue, I preyed
Away from paths, I strayed
Ne’er pausing for some breath
I sinned and then I prayed
As smoothly, I betrayed

Here I’m feeling faint
Drenched in hues of paint
As you draw me on your sheet
And spit on me this taint
To you I’m not a saint

So now I swim in shame
Where I’d wished for fame
Breathe out a frozen whimper
With no thought or no aim
Failing to make a name

Our next contribution comes from Olivia who has quite a few blogs, including Olivia’s In Mind Whirls where you will find poetry, thoughts and life experiences – well worth checking out!  Olivia says this about her poem;-

This piece has been framed as a conversation in my mind. Both sides, it is I who speaks. Besides dealing with the other worldly elements, I also have to resolve my mindly disputes. This post is a fractional presentation of the same.  It is entirely upto the Reader’s fancy if he wants to read it column wise or row wise.”

In 2 Minds


31 thoughts on “Poetry Challenge ‘Weeping Woman why do you weep?’

  1. Thanks Margaret! I like your observation about the glass tears (shards) which compliments the cubism of the portrait, and also the Mater Delerosa – well done:)

  2. Great! Such a sharp face lol! lots of pathos mixed with humour in this poem!
    “glasses don’t fit me…” and
    “leave you bleeding in the rain”
    Excellent! A great contribution – appreciated!

  3. Why I Cry ?

    I watch the rising souls
    Life ended short and cold
    Genocide spores like mold

    Lifeless invaders
    Tears shader then fall
    my unspoken words
    here in my napkin
    Too be read by all

    ~~Julia Rose~~

    1. Thank Julia! I really like the reference to the war in your poem;-

      “Life ended short and cold
      Genocide spores like mold….”
      very well done – and thank you for contributing, it’s appreciated!

  4. While visiting Adam’s page, I got to know of this challenge.. I was so intrigued and drawn to it, that I HAD to participate! 🙂
    This is what I came up with…


    1. Thanks so much for taking part Kavita! It’s a fine poem – I love how you made this woman step from the paint:-) There’s more challenges on Bookstains including one about Charles Dickens:-)

  5. Hey Lynda,

    Since I noticed the challenges you put up here are open for unlimited period, I think I would be able to write something keeping this image in mind!

    Will link in soon 🙂
    Hugs xoxox

    1. Yes they are all open indefintely Olivia 🙂 I look forward to another contribution from you! And there are more challenges to come 🙂
      hugs back x

      1. Hellos again Lynda Dear..

        Thank you for letting me do this again. Although I had the concept in mind, the words wouldn’t flow!

        Had this been not because of this painting, I would have been lurking around with an unfinished poem- not me.. 😦

        Waiting eagerly for some more challenges.. 🙂

        Wishing you a wonderful weekend.. Love n Hugs xoxoxox

        1. This is a very clever poem Olivia! You have taken the fractured pieces of this fragile woman in the painting and added voices which jar against each other. I think this really emphasises the cubism in the painting – the looking at all sides of the image at once! Well done – you gave the weeping woman a voice with your words! A wonderful contribution Olivia – thanks so much for joining in 🙂 hugs too!

          1. yay!!!!!!!
            Glad you liked it. This is exactly how I wanted it to look like.. 🙂

            Thank you so much for providing this platform here.. 😀

            Hugs xxx

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