The Potato Eaters (poem)

The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh (April, 1885)

The Potato Eaters


it may seem we are stuck here
caught frozen on the canvas,
but we have a life to live
there are few pleasures for us;
the days seem long and
the nights short

the few moments we are together
are under the light of our solitary gas lamp
that barely lights this family table
even in daylight dark shadows
lurk in the room

we eat these potatoes
ones that today I dug up
from the deep earth with my
raw hands, Cornelia pours
the coffee black and tasting of
grit, then we wrap ourselves up
for the cruel night

through the holes in the roof
I see the dark sky and bright
burning stars, almost as far
away as candles lighting
a rich man's home

then a wind comes up
whistling through the brief night
we try to catch as much sleep
as we can -
we need all our strength 
for the sunlight when

we go back to work
digging up these tubers
from out of the stony earth
in the sunburnt fields
of Nuenen. 


Joanne Fisher

First published in Takahe 21

I’m dealing with a bad depression at the moment which is why I’ve been republishing my poems here recently, plus it’s also been at least a couple of years since anyone here has seen them…

It’s Pride Month! Why not support a queer writer – Ko-fi đŸŗī¸â€đŸŒˆ

Šī¸2022 Joanne Fisher

5 thoughts on “The Potato Eaters (poem)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s