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Claude Monet, An Impressionist Artist-Poem: Giverny
The history behind the poem
At the end of my oldest daughter’s last year of college, following her graduation, I took her to Europe where the two of us traversed three countries, spending the majority of our time in France. It was a journey of love-getting reacquainted after years away to school; learning to depend and trust each other in a foreign country; opening our hearts to a deeper love that moved from the ordinary relationship of mother-daughter.
My rational was this: Cara graduated with a teaching degree in elementary education. What better way to teach than to have firsthand knowledge of the places she would be introducing to her students. I let her choose the itinerary with one condition-that I would accompany her on this trip. France was at the top of her list, French being the language she had studied in high school. She was interested in the museums and art work in particular.
While it seemed to always rain in Paris, we were amazed that we were undaunted by the weather and instead forged ahead with our plans no matter what. On this particular day, which happened to be Mother’s Day, she surprised me with a trip to Giverny where I not only received a huge bouquet of daisies-my favorite flower, but a whole garden as well. It was amazing to walk the paths through a rainbow of color knowing that Claude Monet painted there. It was humbling to move through his tiny home knowing the historical and sentimental value. Our experience in Giverny was one that we both cherish. Although we had many adventures, and a few misadventures, Giverny will always be very special.
Giverny is dedicated to Cara. Cara, thanks for the beautiful memories.
You can visit Cardelean’s recount of the incident on her hub: Mom and Monet: A Day at Giverny, which is linked below.
Daisies-my birth flower
Additional hubs about Giverny
- Mom and Monet: A Day at Giverny
A trip to visit Monet's home in Giverny, France was a memorable Mother's Day for my Mom and me. Here are the highlights.
- A Poem About A Monet Painting 'Le Jardin'
No ordinary day-we were tourists-nay, foreigners,
And the world we knew was an ocean away.
We stood under curves of color gazing at gray skies and each other,
Letting our cameras do for us what the mind could not.
“Pardon, Monsieur, how do we get to Monet’s Garden?”
Was the translation broken or was it impossible for this native to
Comprehend that someone could not know how to get to Giverny?
“Moe-nee,” was the nasal response, “you want moe-nee?”
And so the game began, until the final round and
We pressed our faces to the window on a train to Giverny.
No ordinary day-this misty 8th of May…
Colors bounded from the ground in bright, vivid waves of paint.
Two awe-struck dreamers amidst the crowd of Impressionistic rows,
We lost ourselves in shades unknown, too numerous to count.
Standing atop the wooden bridge gazing at Claude’s house,
I watched you smiling; a palette of flowers at your feet,
And, wondered at this dream come true.
From me to you, this trip long planned, the time we spent together…
And, one in turn from you to me, a bouquet of white daisies:
“Happy Mother’s Day,” you smiled. No ordinary day, this.
October 27, 2011
All rights reserved. No portion of this original poem may be copied, printed, or reproduced in any way without the written permission of the author.
Notes on the construction of this poem
Like many of the poems I write, this one began as a musing of how special that day in France was. The phrase, ‘it was no ordinary day’ popped into my mind and I asked the question, “why?” As I contemplated what made it extraordinary, images of the experience arose in my mind.
I began to write the words anticipating they would fall into four sentence stanzas. However, at one point I changed it up and put all of the lines together. As I worked with the sentences in that lay out it did not take me long to realize that it was not the right format. But, a more natural one that emerged is the one that is present now-two four line stanzas followed by a two liner.