Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Confessions of an Art Historian, a poem

Confessions of an Art Historian

I understand Impressionism too well
to really like it. As boring sometimes as
a Flaubert novel, it pursues the truths
of light in a brushstroke, science on a canvas.

The brush speaks only words; there are no stories.
That they, these painters, created beauty still,
despite the theories they carried with their paints,
laid out in care for plein air experiment,

but proves the artist will chafe at any bonds,
no matter that he might have forged them himself.
Some part must hide itself from theorists,
historians. It lies in the artists' souls.

I look too closely, seeing every brushstroke;
I stand too distant, knowing 'this came before,'
'that followed.' I understand Impressionism
too well and not at all. As most things.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

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