The Last Days of Van Gogh (poem)


The Last Days of Van Gogh



I believe this is a fact:

the only artist that is truly appreciated

is a dead one

for there is a finite number

of completed canvasses stacked in

dry cellars for the art dealers

to handle


a live artist has too many infinite

possibilities & versions to try

I have said this many times

to my brother Theo




I am translating this world

its landscapes, buildings & people

& myself amongst it


I want you to see the shifting layers:

the cobalt blues, chromium yellows,

emerald greens, & vermilions

that are pressed into the canvas,

the crooked churches, the

tall dark cypresses, the sunflowers I

painted for Gauguin in the Yellow House,

the pine trees in the asylum




every canvas I paint is one less

variation or piece of night sky daubed

with large white blots of stars


I work in more & more of myself



I merge with the paints &

there is nothing left




Auvers is so real

the world is so real,

but so dull, unimaginative

& lacking understanding


I write to Theo: We can

only make our pictures speak

& I am risking my life for it


this is true




today I am painting a canvas

of yellow wheatfields & black

smudges of crows, there are three

pathways with no direction, no way

to escape


a dark storm




Joanne Fisher



This poem first appeared on my blog in December 2017.



©2019 Joanne Fisher



11 thoughts on “The Last Days of Van Gogh (poem)

      1. I use the old fashioned mouse and keyboard plugged into the laptop (ergonomically better) but of late the mouse has developed a bit of a hiccup, and sometimes doesn’t do what it’s told. I click. Nothing happens. So, that’s probably what happened.

        Liked by 1 person

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