Repost: A Poet, An Artist, and the Iris Between

I think this repost is appropriate given the coming of spring!


by William Carlos Williams

a burst of iris so that
come down for

we searched through the
rooms for

sweetest odor and at
first could not
find its

source then a blue as
of the sea

starling us from among
those trumpeting

Irises (Saint-Rémy, France, 1889);
Vincent van Gogh 1853-1890
Oil on canvas 28 x 36 5/8 in

Van Gogh painted this while in an asylum, and I imagine:
He wakes up in a ribbon of light from the window, alone, almost crazy. Upon smelling the fresh morning aroma, he bolts to his feet and rushes out of the room, yellowed nightdress whipping around his thin calves. He moves from room to room, throwing open each unlocked door and banging on locked ones, searching for the source of that sweet, crisp smell that woke him. The last door he opens leads him to the garden. He is blinded by the sharp light of mid-morning, the metal points of the garden gates gleaming, and then, arising out of the shine, blue – blue waves foaming, those trumpeting petals of the iris.

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