Thursday, November 06, 2008

" as beautiful as you."

This past weekend my pastor and colleague, Pete Allen, and I led an adult education field trip into New York City to the Museum of Modern Art. One of the special exhibitions we saw was Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night (Click on this link to see a flash of the exhibit and the works mentioned). His famous painting, The Starry Night, used to be my favorite. But while viewing this exhibit I found others. Look at the colors of The Sower, the green of the sunset sky, the tree, the bowed figure. The Potato Eaters portrays Van Gogh's affection for those whose lives are rooted in the earth. Though the sunset in The Stevedores at Arles is beautiful, it would not be half the painting without the main characters in the foreground, even though they are in shadow.

My new favorite, however, is The Starry Night Over the Rhone: the way the light shimmers on the water, the stars shine above, the lovers below. I had no words save for a poem.

Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone

Engine of being,
that reserve of desire
to which the artist bends
is light, that blaze
so sweet--thus also
darkness, that slit into reality
through which he unleashes color,
shape, shadow and story.
Like a priest celebrating
a mystery, he holds, lifts
what is holy, gives thanks,
breaking it into a billion living stars
in a night sky shivering,
on a silent river unlocked,
above two lovers with little to regret.


Jan said...

So beautiful. Thank you.

Andy said...

Your poem beautifully highlighted a magnificent work of art. Thank you for sharing.