Monday, August 25, 2014

A Nod to Starry Night

Starry Night by Alex Ruiz...a tribute to The Starry Night by Van Gogh

Nod to Starry Night
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

In the mind or in the meadow,
we must find our starry night.
From the green hills to the ghetto,
we are moved to set things right.

Through the bars that block our windows,
past the cells our souls create,
we contest the way the wind blows,
brushing off the hands of fate.

Man is weak and prone to stumble.
Let the daylight count the cost.
But the moon will never tumble,
and the stars shall not be lost.

Sailing on a ship of crystal
or a van Gogh-ing to hell,
wrap that starry night around you
and believe that all is well.


The Starry Night was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in June of 1889. It is based on a view from the east window of his room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, a mental institution. "Through the iron-barred window," he wrote to his brother, "I can see an enclosed square of wheat...above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory." In the end, however, Van Gogh opted for what he called a "night study" of the scene, one which he deemed a failure. "Once again," he wrote his friend Emile Bernard, "I have allowed myself to be led astray into reaching for stars that are too big..." Of course, time has proven Mr. Van Gogh to be considerabaly more successful in his efforts than he imagined. (Perhaps the stars are never too big for our reaching.)

Vincent van Gogh
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Karen Mortensen said...

Really nice Sue.

yaya said...

I sat under the stars on Saturday night and even saw a shooting's a great time to contemplate life looking at the immense lighted ceiling of the universe. Some may feel insignificant and small with all that above you. It always makes me feel hopeful.

Karen S. said...

Absolutely, I believe this everyday! Lovely, wise words Sue.

Gattina said...

Van Gogh is my favorite painter. I love this painting !

Leovi said...

Nice poem full beauty!

Sumana Roy said...

A stellar inspiring and positive...hey I also used these two images and @ the same

Brian Miller said...

there is something reassuring in the constancy of the moon....and the stars, though at times even they will let us down...we are human...and our lives become a quest in finding what and who we can depend upon....smiles.

hope you are doing well.

jen said...

Beautiful, my friend. As I waited for the music to cue up, I was hoping for a little Josh Groban this am. Now I'm gonna have to listen to that song--one of my all-time favorites!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Van Gogh's Starry Night has long been one of my favorite paintings. Both Alex Ruiz's painting and your poem have captured it beautifully.

carol l mckenna said...

What a great choice for N ~ lovely! happy week to you ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Pam Beers. said...

Isn't amazing how nature keeps rolling along in beauty and splendor, while we humans bumble our way through life...trying...but still bumbling.

"Starry Night" is in on my office wall as I comment on this lovely blog post. It's always an inspiration both Van Gogh and you.

Berowne said...

Very skillful and beautifully moving...

EG CameraGirl said...

I wonder if Van Gogh was simply a man ahead of his time, which would be very confusing and might make him seem insane.

And I agree that perhaps the stars are NOT to big, but most of us are to afraid to reach for them.

SilverGardenia said...

I love the flow in your poem! It's very beautiful.

Wayne said...

Nicely done...thanks for sharing your words

Kutamun said...

There is nothing wrong with stopping to listen , smell the roses ...perhaps we collectively stumble , in our time ?

Viki said...

Beautiful poem for our troubled times. I've never seen the painting before, it's lovely.

Friko said...

A pleasant poem to accompany a masterpiece. Pity van Gogh didn’t know how much he’d be appreciated by posterity.

Amy said...

I have always loves that painting. And the song by Don McLean. As I was reading your poem, the tune for Come Thou Fount popped into my head. It fit rather nicely! You are so talented!

Anonymous said...

Or a van Goghing to hell.


Nice Mag. Love and Light, S

Pondside said...

How beautiful.
I found one line in the poem so very touching because a print of this Van Gogh hangs in the room I use for interviewing at the prison.

LeAnn said...

I just love how you put these all together. I loved the poem of course and the pictures were the perfect touch. The Van Gogh is great; but I liked the first one best. I think because I could picture myself in that one.
Blessings and hugs for your awesome poetry.

Gail said...


Wonderfully crafted.

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