Description: The working title of this was the last line, Nothing lasts forever and the whole portrait thing was just an image i was using in the poem, amongst others...but it then became the poem as such, im not sure i like my ending much though, the rest i really like...ahh the portrait takes pecedence to the artist in my title because it lives on you could say where well you will see for yourself what happens to the artist..
The Portrait and The Artist -------------------------------------------
Happiness colours the vision
Filling in the blanks of the portrait
Of a smiling young woman.
Trapped within a period piece
Never to fade or grow old
How wonderful that must be
The fountain of eternal youth
In the background of the artists mind
With forever red apple orchards.
The woman’s white plain dress
Embroidered with pink thread
Will never be stained,
Her smile will never wither
Into a winter of discontent.
Her cheeks will never gain a deathly pallor.
But sadly the portrait will never be complete.
The artist is long dead
A decaying corpse lying in bed,
No one ever knew him,
Except his lady love
The portrait he will never finish
Of one who he had gazed at
Across the Sunday Market.
The painting now rots
With damp from a leaking roof
Which led to the pneumonia
Of the sleeping visionary.
No eternal youth
No eternal dream
Except the cold hard facts of death
As nothing lasts forever.
The power the artist yields is phenomenal, when you consider the first stanza, how you've captured the standstill of time regarding her appearance. And then my next impression is the struggle of the artist clearly defined in his death, the leaky roof is a well cast clue. It would have been nice for the fountain of youth to have preserved her, and with her fortunes, well she could have kept him alive. But to no avail is he now able. Thanks for sharing, it's a sensitive and well penned write. peace, nansofast
PS Just had an idea for the ending: it's a thought... she could have saved him with her wealth, he could have saved her with his art.
You've written this well enough for me to see where you are going with it. I've got some questions. In the opening line, happiness colours what vision? The viewers? The voice in the poem? I think it would read better if you specified. Happiness colours your vision, or my vision., or our vision. At first it isn't obvious that the painting is incomplete. I think I would refer to the blanks of the portrait as blank space "on" the portrait. That might do it, and work around the somewhat awkward repetition when you start L3 using "of" for the second time in two lines. But that is a minor point. I think the syntax is a bit off farther down with the womans white plain dress sounding better in my ear as plain white dress instead.
In S2, I'd shy away from saying no one ever knew him. Perhaps "few knew him, "
There is one piece of repetition I think might be too strong for the poem. Because you have the line
"But sadly the portrait will never be complete."
standing by itself between strophes, repeating
"The portrait he will never finish "
just a few lines below seems overdone.
One last thing to check, next to last line,
"Except the cold hard facts of death."
consider "only" the cold hard facts, or "just" the cold hard facts. But also keep in mind that cold hard facts is used a lot. I won't call it cliché' but someone else might.
Now everything else I pretty much like, and I do like it as a whole. It hits the theme from a nice angle, not too morbid, not too light. Viewing an incomplete painting and comparing the artist to the subject. Good work. Hope my ideas might be of some use to you, Dave
such a sorrowful but charming poem...the death of any kind of artistic or creative person moves me because with them such talent and enlightening visions become lost. artists have such varied and unique visions of the world. i like the narrative tone of this poem, it captures everything with such colour and vividity..there a sinister contrast in my mind about the ending scene of this man lying dead in his bed with this portrait smiling over him. and the continuing contrast of his damp room and her ripe orchard. there may be an idea here of the innocent idealism of love and the cold cruelty of reality. there are a couple of interesting ideas here, all of them undermined by something else eg. the infinity of beauty captured in paints, yet the painting will never be finished and rots from the damp. one thing though...the first line rings a bit strangely. happiness fills in the blanks of the portrait? that kinds of contradicts where you later imply that the portrait isn't completed physically by the artist. id scrap the second line, suggesting that her happiness gives the portrait its vibrancy. leave your ending, it sounds find to me. it's brutally blunt in contrast to the style of the rest of your poem, but perhaps that's the point. but change 'except' to 'only' and it'll make sense. thankyou, i enjoyed this
the first stanza is breathtaking... simply breathtaking. you paint the portrait for the reader... the girl, her dress, her smile and i love the way you make her imortal in her portrait. thats totally magic... it has such depth to it also... i mean... we have learnt so much about the dress and life in certain period of history through paintings and art and you have made reference to such things (whether knowingly or not...)
the second stanza though... im not sure... it doesnt hold the same magic as the first stanza (though i dont spose it would...) but it feels kinda rushed... there is very little mystery to it as there is in the first stanza. one thing i NEED to ask is... did he actually know the lady in the portrait? or did he purely paint his painting after seeing her in the market...?
personally i think i would shy away from saying nothing lasts forever... youve just immortalised youth and beauty within a portrait in the first stanza and though it is being ruined by rain and all hmmm... someone may find it (and the artist) and restore it... who knows... but yeah... a very vivid write. you sure have style! see you round!