Van Gogh


Blue stars in the garden,
Touched by the slender light of an icy moon
Trying to contain the storm
Throwing itself into a tantrum,
Breaking all it touched.
Spitefully turning the ruffled cornflowers
Into tiny blue rags
Pressed against earth’s vast darkness.

Howlin’ Wolf roared his blue despair
Into the emptiness he knew lay waiting
Behind the beauty of his own rich singing.
Set on making a cool and glorious
                       stream of melody
To challenge and defeat that darkness.
Make it jump for joy.

The Bluesman adding his song
To the precise and perfect loveliness
Of Lawrence telling of his own blue
                       Bavarian gentian
In the frosty month of September,
Its blue light leading him only into darkness,
Into emptiness,
Where Persephone was called back for ever
And Lawrence called for love.

Yet the Bluesman never stopped singing,
Filling that emptiness with the soul of man.
Bringing light to the darkness.
And Lawrence kept his pen firmly in his fingers,
Adding his song of blue gentians
Flowering in the month of September
To the eternal battle of hope over despair.

                                        © 2020 Gwen Grant

4 thoughts on “SONG OF THE BLUES

  1. The man bent over his guitar,
    A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

    They said, “You have a blue guitar,
    You do not play things as they are.”

    The man replied, “Things as they are
    Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

    And they said then, “But play, you must,
    A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

    A tune upon the blue guitar
    Of things exactly as they are.”

    from Man on a Blue Guitar, Wallace Stevens.

    Thanks Gwen – perfect art for your meditation on blue and Lawrence and his gentians and the eternal battle of hope over despair.


  2. This poem is wonderful, Josie. I’m going to order a book of Wallace Stevens poems
    right away. It’s so relaxed and perfect, as if the musician was both amused and tolerant
    with the question put to him. I absolutely love it and thank you so much for bringing it to
    my attention. I can’t stop just now but will be back on your Blog tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really looking forward to reading more of his work. I’m just reading a biog of Delmore Schwartz whose poetry
    is so often challenging. Thank goodness for poets for the interest and stimulus they create.

    Liked by 1 person

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