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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: En Plein Air
By Henry Clemmons
12/15/10


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Death by drowning,
Even beneath floating
Water lilies;
White,
Beautify by disguise,
Death’s pale rasp,
Submerged in muck
Of old duck bones and turtle dung,
In strangled currents veiled from
The effects
Of light.

Tuberculosis killed his wife,
The Impressionist,
Dumb
To Nature’s new tongue,
Flees from water lilies;
White,
Cries and crawls beyond dark walls of velvet drapes
Hidden from,
The effects
Of Light.

Oscar Claude is now at odds with his soul,
Foreign prose wars with life once expressed
Water lily;
White,
By oily brushed nature perceptions
In broken color,
Rapid strokes,
Masterful successions,
All impressions
Of life
Exposed.
Here,
Was his native voice, now in spinning shadows,
The effects
Of light.

This new language,
However,
Of dirt and coffined boxes
Buried in soil, soured
Among fossil collages,
Whispers in Oscar’s ear,
“Follow me,”
A journey bridges over
Water lilies;
White,
On fickle rivers
Reflecting temperamental silk soaring scarves of clouds;
To fields of
Red and yellow
Rooted flowers,
And a windmill
Twirling its arms as wind gives it might,
Under blue sky praising,
The effects
Of Light.

...

Tulips bold from bulbs below
Speak a fresh impression,
From death grew life,
In colors bright,
Green stems now grow toward Heaven.

The artist stands
Like windmill fans,
Spin in a new direction.
He grabs His brush,
Retards his rush,
And paints a new reflection.

No lilies; white, on river’s blight,
But fields of tulip splendor,
Monet, my friend, I pray you learn
New words are truly tender;
The effects … of Light.


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This article has been read 563 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/18/10
Excellent--"Masterful strokes" might also describe your poetry.
Sarah Elisabeth 12/18/10
Wow. Loved the 'effects' of light and the Light. Very nicely done!
Noel Mitaxa 12/18/10
Wow! A clear object lesson in "showing not telling."
Cheryl Harrison 12/21/10
Wow -- the progresson of grief. From the dark captivity of pain to the illuminated freedom of a loss accepted. At least that is this reader's interpretation of your poetic language. :o)

Great job! Makes me want to research Monet as well. Keep writing!
Mona Purvis12/21/10
Henry, you are a true artist. Sometimes your words actually paint the picture and I have to remind myself I'm reading. Certainly, you command this style of poetry.

Catrina Bradley 12/21/10
If I knew more about Monet's life and work, I'm sure I'd appreciate this poem even more. As it is, I love it, and it was even better the 2nd read. This will stay on my heart. Beautiful
Amanda Brogan12/21/10
Absolutely love the ending! And how you go from "painting" the grimness of death to the bright joy of life. Superb!
Edmond Ng 12/22/10
Excellent poem—so clear and direct to the point!
Theresa Santy 12/22/10
Breathtaking!
Lollie Hofer 12/22/10
Once again, your poetry takes my breath away. What I like about your poetry is it makes me think. It's impossible to just "scan" your poetry. A reader needs to sink their teeth into it and then there's the "ahh" moment when understanding comes. PLEASE publish that book.