Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poetry Friday 8/11/17

Happy Birthday to my Birthday twin, Margaret Simon, at 

Reflections on the Teche this week's host of Poetry Friday.

I've never known a birthday twin before and have started close reading and writing with Catherine, Margaret, Julie, and Heidi.
It's so fun I'm throwing confetti as you read this.

Last week I enjoyed pairing a known painting and a known poem so much, that I wanted to the activity again. 

This might be fun with students....asking students to find (or create) an image to pair with a poem and give reasons why. 

Take a look at one of my favorite poets, Linda Pastan and painter Pierre Bonnard. Both had me at Vermilion.


Pierre Bonnard would enter
the museum with a tube of paint
in his pocket and a sable brush.
Then violating the sanctity
of one of his own frames
he'd add a stroke of vermilion
to the skin of a flower.
Just so I stopped you
at the door this morning
and licking my index finger, removed
an invisible crumb
from your vermilion mouth. As if
at the ritual moment of departure
I had to show you still belonged to me.
As if revision were
the purest form of love. 

~Linda Pastan
Pastan, Linda. “Vermilion.”, The Poem Hunter, 13 Jan. 2003,
Pierre Bonnard | The Green Blouse | The Met.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I.e. The Met Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 


  1. The Linda Pastan poem hits you right where it counts, in the heart. Vermilion lips, vermilion stroke on a flower. The word feels somewhat erotic when you say it. We have a bayou in Lafayette called the Vermilion River. Makes me want to write an evocative poem using the word.

  2. "Looking... inside him" reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh saying, "Does what happens inside show on the outside? There is such a great fire in one’s soul, and yet nobody ever comes to warm themselves there, and passersby see nothing but a little smoke coming from the top of the chimney, and go on their way.” I guess Bonnard is saying that art can show that fire. The poem reminds me of a poet who said that they go into Barnes and Noble and make edits in their books! It can be hard to let go...

    1. Happy birthday, Linda!!! Wishing you all good things in the year ahead!

  3. Linda, here's to you, on your birthday! Hope it's happy happy happy! Poetry and art... two of my favorite things! And yes, I do think revision may be the purest form of love... with what care we must go forth, what honest and tenderness... thank you!

  4. Happy, happy Birthday, Linda. What fun to share this day with PF friends! This poem by Linda Pastan, wow! It's wonderful how she connects the revision with love. She sets a tone for us every time, to consider life in a different way. Lovely!

  5. Happy Birthday, Linda! I love both Pierre Bonnard and Linda Pastan, so I love this post exponentially! And yes, I think revision is "the purest form of love." Thank you for sharing these beauties!

  6. Happy Birthday, Linda! This post is just beautiful. I love the poetry-art pairing and will have to look back to see the previous post you mentioned. Thanks so much for enriching my day!

  7. Wowza! What wonderful combos those are! Happy Birthday!!!! I have two birthday twins: actress Brooke Shields and fossilist Mary Anning, whom you all know by now I'm obsessed with! Have a fabulous Friday birthday! -- Christie @

  8. As if revision were the purest form of love--wow! Thanks for sharing these, and happy birthday, Linda!

  9. I love this strategy, Linda! I will definitely share with teachers. Happiest of birthdays to you, Linda!

  10. Such a fun pairing. The line about revision being the purest form of love blew me away. Have you seen the poetry collection Heart to Heart (edited by Jan Greenburg)? It pairs new poems with 20th century American art. Reading it makes me want to visit an art museum with pen and paper in my pocket instead of the tube of vermilion!

  11. I love your pairing again today!

  12. Wow, I LOVE this poem! Thank you!

  13. Happy Birthday and wow. I love that word vermillion, in all its infinite flowering of color. Poetry and painting are more beautiful together.

  14. Happy Birthday Linda!

    Linda Pastan is definitely one of my favorites. The comparison she makes here is so striking and original.

  15. I've never encountered Linda Pastan before, what an incredible poem!

  16. Hi Linda, Many Happy Returns of the Day! Thanks for sharing these interesting takes on Pierre Bonnard's paintings, I like the vermillion in Linda Pastan's poem.

  17. Linda, my eyes are open to the wonders of vermillion as a color in both the poetry and art arenas and the new to me poet and painter. This pairing is great! I have been playing lately with impressionistic looks to contemporary images.

  18. Oh! I wish I hadn't waited to read this, after someone mentioned how my Frost "Bloodbank" poem echoed your vermilion post. And how wonderful this poem for a parent whose child leaves for college next week!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!