Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pigment

 
 

There's a certain shape or shadow camouflaged

in some of Berthe Morisot's work

that might suggest she suffered a deep, personal  loss.

                                       comment from an observer

 

 Her brother-in law portrayed her

lounging against a red wall,  bold

as the red apple meant to poison Snow-white

or the radishes that haunted a mother's craving

and enslaved Rapunzel to a witch.

She was uncomfortable with the color

and used it sparingly in her own paintings.

 

Her husband laughed when he saw journal cartoons

warning that pregnant women

should not attend Impressionist shows

because they might cause a miscarriage. He then pointed to his wife

bragging how she flirted with brush and light

and still gave birth to a healthy girl.  Like him,

she claimed the critics were clowns

but felt nauseas, unnerved by their prediction.

.

Her mind workshopped into sleep while the body relaxed

on a sofa. She dreamt she was spilling a basket of flowers

on canvas.  Mint-green buds, pale peonies  and spreading underneath -- sprays

of Spanish Flag. Its scarlet bloom was layered like the still

and flattened wings of a bird. She awoke abruptly with a craving for salt.


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