The Finished Masterpiece (from a Chain Poem Challenge)
The Original Challenge and Finished Poem
In my earlier hub "The Masterpiece:a Chain Poetry Challenge" I invited readers to join me in composing a chain poem building on two stanzas I provided, and to write their contributions in comments. I was blown away by the response and high standard of the submissions by a number of talented poets.
I have held off publishing the finished poem to give those interested time to write their verses. Hopefully everyone has submitted them by now but if not I will continue to add to and edit the poem as more verses are received. That being said I have done my best to put this chain poem together satisfactorily and I hope you enjoy it. You will see by the length of the finished poem why I decided to use it in a separate hub from the original.
In case you haven't read the original hub yet, the story behind it is based on Claude Monet and his wonderful paintings.
"The boy sitting behind you says you look like a masterpiece.
Ask him, has he ever seen a Monet up close?
Close enough to see nothing but muddled strokes of weedy lakeshore?
Close enough to dip his fingers into the ridges
where oil paints hardened under an artist's gaze?
Close enough to breathe onto the blood lilies?
Ask him, why did he paint them red?" (Andriealphus)
He grinned like Carroll's Cheshire cat.
"Through clouded and bloodshot eyes I imagine.
Be my waterlilies!" he says,
"Feel my breath and let my fingers delve,
become my masterpiece instead.
A brush has never touched a canvas as fine as your fair skin.
Let the masters weep in jealousy,
and Van Gogh slice his ear in envy at the beauty of your nakedness." (Jodah)
Ask him what he sees beneath this textured beauty,
what colours pulse and touch his heart.
And what about a heart that's sorely aching,
how can he know the passion it imparts?
What skill caresses such a naked canvass?
What colours would he see my soul embrace?
Perchance he cannot craft such wild endeavours
my interest to capture, given chase. (Annart)
"The pure white of the lily's skin
speaks of no beauty from within
just Monet's way or goal
for feasting eyes
not feasting for the soul." (Shyron E Shenko)
“For my heart tends to fetter in your delicacy,
every detail from within to your out,
a treasured voyage for a lifetime of Excellency
visualizing and wooing while feeling about.” (Word55)
Ask where he sat to paint the water ripples
And did he walk across the shaded bridge
What sounds embraced him as he heard
The whispering breeze, the swishing brush
And did he ever dream his water lilies
Would grace my Mother's wall in Spain
Or turn to parody by Banksy casting
An upturned shopping trolley in his lily lake? (Gloriousconfusion)
On contemplating Banksy’s lily lake in its unique splendour
The shopping trolley resting quietly on its side,
I wonder if someone lost their footing
as they gazed at the beauty of the swirling ripple
from the unexpected eddy tide?
The dreamy bridge aglow in milky greenery hue.
I wonder if Monet could still hear the lake's whispers
as he added a touch of playful blue?
The blue light shining in the glittering sky
a vision of splendor to all who pass by.
Surely the master's stroke of the heavenly arc beautifully placed
is a student's wishful plea for words tatted with lace. (always exploring)
Confessions to friend Georges Clemenceau
Of light encapsulating both torment, joy
Fervent madness in analyzing colors
Consequential spontaneous creations
Season after season of obsession
Capturing different hues in a single moment
Attentive while strolling in Argenteuill
Brushwork bares masterpiece. (Faith Reaper)
Ask again, ask the boy if he too has walked the paths in Giverny,
Stumbled across the bridge of lightness and shade,
Dazzled by sunlight to contrast those dark shadows of grief,
Connected to some past reflection in the rippling stream,
Time the magician weaves a subliminal spell,
Youth, skilfully creating the beauty of the moment sees
Primordial vision painting blood red lilies. (travmaj)
As light turned dark as night turned day
His brushes stroked and streamed
like rippling thoughts
from his abstract dreams
to capture his garden at Giverny
lush in its proper shades.
For he saw reflective sources
from which his palette sang
to wit there he sat
content with his pond.
While the young boy
dreaming romantic thoughts walked on
The Painting above is part of Monet's "Les Nympheas" display in the Musée de l'Orangerie
Les Nymphéas (Water Lilies)
A monumental and intimate creation. Les Nymphéas are the expression and result of Claude Monet's artistic thought. An incredible project by a painter that wanted to explore all variations of light in his garden in Giverny, Les Nymphéas are displayed across two oval rooms, creating a place of endless reflection for visitors. Immediately after the Great War, Monet wanted his work to take this aesthetic and poetic dimension as well as to offer Parisians a refuge, a place of peace and meditation. (source: parisinfo.com)
As the boy began to walk away
in his wake, I heard him say
"I took a trip to Orangerie
where the ghost of Monet still abides.
I sat right down and gazed awhile
until I heard a soft voice cry,
"Have you ever seen a fluid dream?
Where light evolves into what it touch.
Where serenity flows through cloudy veil.
Where the magician's brush like lightning rush.
Have you ever seen a sight sublime?
A child born of distorted illusion.
This flowering pond that traps the light
that lift the heart and beckons the soul.
An abstract pulchritude up close.
Move back, behold; such tranquil delight." (tobusiness)
Blue follows movement,
impasto, a curvilinear brandishing of light,
marking the distance
between student and master
in an arc of sky. (AudreyHowitt)
And this the beauty be
from Masters past we see
impressed upon the boy
bestowed on her with joy. (Phyllis Doyle)
No tears splash water below,
From the bridge beneath his feet,
Nor can his brush paint his thoughts,
From the mystery maid he seeks. (Diana Lee)
He begins walking toward the multi colored painting,
vivid blues of every shade come into focus.
It is as much as he can see through his cataract eyes,
a woman with the dress of lace and diamonds.
She is searching his thoughts.
Reds and greens weave through his brain and a revelation gives birth,
the journey on this road of accomplishments he made.
The lady disappears through the canopy of the trees ahead.
He is alone again,
standing there with a brush and empty canvas. (Jo Goldsmith)
Read about Bill De Giulio's Trip to Giverny
- Paris Day Trip: Visiting Monet's Home and Gardens in Giverny
Looking for a day-trip from Paris that you can do on your own? For a wonderful experience head to Giverny and Claude Monet's Home and Gardens. What Monet created here is simply amazing.
Monet's house and garden
In May 1883, Claude Monet and his large family rented a house on 2 acres situated at Giverny. There was a barn that doubled as a painting studio, orchards and a small garden. The house was close to the local schools for the children to attend and the surrounding landscape offered much suitable inspiration for Monet's work. The family worked hard and built up the gardens. During this time Monet's fortunes began to improve as sales of his paintings began to increase notably. By November 1890, Monet had saved enough money to buy the house, the surrounding buildings and the land for his gardens. During the 1890s, Monet built a greenhouse and a second spacious and well lit studio equipped with skylights.
He wrote daily instructions to his gardener, that included precise designs and layouts for plantings throughout the garden. As Monet's wealth grew, his garden evolved with it and he always remained its architect, even after he hired seven gardeners to do the work.
He bought additional land with a water meadow and in 1893 he began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. White water lilies local to France were planted along with imported cultivars from South America and Egypt, resulting in a range of colours including yellow, blue and white lilies that turned pink with age.
In 1899 Monet began painting the water lilies, first with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life. This scenery, with its alternating light and mirror-like reflections, became an integral part of his work. By the mid-1910s Monet had achieved:
"a completely new, fluid, and somewhat audacious style of painting in which the water-lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art"—Gary Tinterow (source: Wikipedia)
I'd like to offer my special thanks to everyone who contributed to the writing of this chain poem. I apologise to any writer whose stanza I altered slightly to fit the style of the rest of the poem and try to tie it together.
If any of you have a suggestion as to how these stanzas could be rearranged to improve the flow or meaning of the poem, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll gladly consider it.
Also, if you have had any part in the writing of "The Masterpiece" you are more than welcome to use it and reproduce it wherever you wish. I am not copyrighting it as I am only a small contributor myself.
An eBook Collection of My Hub Page Poetry
- On the Wings of Eagles by John Hansen (eBook) - Lulu
Buy On the Wings of Eagles by John Hansen (eBook) online at Lulu. Visit the Lulu Marketplace for product details, ratings, and reviews.
More by this Author
Here are just some of my random thoughts and ramblings on how to write when your muse has gone on vacation and you just can't find inspiration or think of anything relevant to say.
Here I present an example of collaborative, collective, or "chain" poetry and also provide an opportunity for readers to partake in a challenge to build on this poem and continue the chain.
Previously I wrote a poem called "If I Could Write a Love Poem." It was very well received and even selected to turn into a song that was recorded on an album by Tally Koren. This is the sequel.