Monday, May 17, 2010

Monet Refuses The Operation by Lisel Mueller

One of my favorite paintings by Claude Monet is "Bridge Over Water Lilies".  Claude Monet is a founder of French Impressionist painting.  ("Impression, Sunrise" is a painting by Claude Monet which gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.)  I love his soft lines and pastel colors.

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Ever so often I stumble across this poem in an anthology, or I pick up my copy of "Alive Together" by Ms. Meuller and it always blows me away, this poem.  I have to insist that you buy this book.  And not just because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  It's just overflowing with mind-blowing, amazing poems.  Go ahead and find it at Amazon or your local book store and buy it.  I promise you, it will give you hours and hours of pure joy.  :-)

Love & Blessings,



Monet Refuses the Operation
by Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

~from "Alive Together, New & Selected Poems"


Wine and Words said...

"it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, to soften and blur and finally banish the edges you regret." Oh wow! *sniff*. This was beautiful.

I am willing the sun your way also My Marion. Blessings dear friend.

Kelly said...

Okay. You've convinced me. I'll find myself a copy of this book.

This is a wonderful poem!!

Woman in a Window said...

I've never been one for impressionism but but BUT this poem does paint it differently for me. I like to think of barriers broken down and the world in flux. A great one, Marion. I'll look with new eyes.


Karen said...

What a beautiful, imaginative poem! One of the reasons I keep coming back here (aside from the great company, of course) is that I know you will introduce me to wonderful poetry that I haven't read before. Thanks for the introduction, Marion.

Terresa said...

Marion! This poem slays me. Absolutely slays me. I want to commit it to memory at once.

Thank you for it.


hello dear marion - i'm so sorry to have been so long in visiting - daily life distractions with children and grandchildren standing in the way of my virtual visits - what a fabulous poem - one i would not have remembered having read had you not been kind enough to share with us - don't you absolutely love it!!! thank you so much! hope this finds you enjoying a warm sunny day at your house - it's cold bleak and wet here! have a glorious day, lady!

Marion said...

Annie, the sun is shining today. Thank you. As Terresa said, this poem absolutely slays me. To share a poem like this and to hear others say they love it just makes me happy. Love to you, my Annie. Blessings!

Kelly, you won't regret buying this one. It's a feast. Blessings!

Erin, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Yes, new eyes. I like that. Blessings!

Karen, you're welcome. I'm happy that you enjoyed it. I appreciate you. Blessings!

Terresa, my soul-sister friend, I should have known you'd love this one. We seem to have the exact same taste in poetry. :-) Loved your words today. Slays me, too. Blessings!

Gypsy, life does seem to get in the way of our virtual world at times, doesn't it. LOL! I'm glad to see you back and I'm happy you enjoyed your visit. Blessings! xoxo

Sue said...

Sold! I'm heading over to Amazon.


Marion said...

Sue, you won't be disappointed. She's an amazing poet. Blessings!

ds said...

I love this poem. I will own her book. Soon. Thank you for sharing it.

Marion said...

There's a lot of poetry I'm not fond of, mostly because I can't get my head around it. But this one ranks among my's truly awesome!

thanks for posting it Marion!

Janelle Goodwin said...

This poem blew me away. Monet is one of my favorite artists, not just because of his painting but the way he lived his life. Thank you for posting this. I think I need to own the book too!

Marion said...

I'm just overjoyed that so many of you love this poem as much as I do. Poetry is itself a bridge that joins us all together.

Janelle, when I saw your last painting, I just wept. To be able to paint the sky like you such a gift, a miracle. You are a magician with the paint brush. I knew you'd love this poem. :-) Love & Blessings to everyone!