Iris: A May Poem

One of my favorite painters is Vincent Van Gogh. One painting I like by him is 1889, Irises. Inspired by his masterpiece and the season of spring, I wrote a poem depicting Van Gogh’s painting, describing the color, movement, and emotions of the scene.

Interestingly, I initially wrote this poem during National Poetry Writing Month. Its first few forms weren’t encompassing and referring to segments of the painting and the image as a whole. Portions of an iris plant weren’t represented in the descriptive, lightly whimsical light I was originally hoping for. After several revisions, deletions, and add-ins, the final version is ready to be revealed.

I wanted to create a story from this painting, creating my own before and after, organizing what may happen in a story that didn’t make it onto the canvas.

Bright spring,
Lining gardens and yards
Like fairy lights.

Dirt packed
Under soil-scented
Fingernails.

She planted
An iris seed,
Roots cross stitched
Beneath loam.

Wonky stems, floppy leaves
Sway in loose waves
Like green-tinted
Ocean tides.

Purple tops
Sculpted like
Spring trophies,
Yellow centers
Giddy
Bathing in the
Warmest bands
Of sunshine.

Indigo swims
For an Oklahoma mile.


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