Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Van Gogh – one more letter

This poem penned by Gulzar and translated by Rina Singh is an epitome of poetic biography of
Van Gogh. Its vivid and carries essence of his life so elegantly and beautifully

Lamps of Sunlight
tempered in turpentine
I spread on my canvass

What should I do
if they don’t see the colours
in my sun?

I should serve the church
says Theo to me
Church,
that Church
where nights are mistaken
for shadows
days are a journey of mirages

Those who don’t understand reality
say my paintings are not real
they are figment of my imagination

Let them see the outline of my tree
Is it less divine
than the tree of God?
God ordered a seed to grow;
it grew
see how it grows
it grew
When a branch droops
a leaf fails
the colours pale
without any interference
from the artist

I have worked on every branch
Every leaf
The eye sees
What the heart sees
The hand draws
Just look at the contours of those trees
How upright they are
But none so proud

See how the leaves shine like copper
in the fall

Charred faces
of the “coal miners”
damned in the mines.

Let them see the “Potato Eaters”
under the lamplight
taking their meals
bodies bound together
by the halo

I saw the wind
Flee from the fields
I arrested it on my canvass

Roulin
A school boy

A whore
A neighbour
Mortals
I have immortalized them

For years I have painted
but my crtics said nothing
nothing at all
Their silence rings in my ears
crows wings
Beating against my ears
My brushstrokes
slashing at their beaks
I have cut of my ear

I don’t have even a yard
of canvas left
to make a pure sweeping sky
for the sun I prepared
carefully diluted in turpentine
The sunshine has dried
on my pallete

I am in Remi
admitted in St. Remi Clinic
for some repair
Some parts of my bran
don’t seem satisfactory to them
They say they are disordered
maybe loose
I think are only
a little frenzied

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