Woman in Blue
reading his last letter –
burning red leaves
NaHaiWriMo prompt: haiku about a painting
83/100 Days of Summer
Found Haiku: The title of Vermeer’s painting is “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.”
One of my all time favorites. The stillness and silence in this picture, the allusion to pregnancy, waiting time, the letter/news almost associate to an annunciation.
Yet, it is likely that there is disappointment. The map associates to far away places. Where is he writing from? Perhaps he is not coming back… the autumn of the relationship in the haiku… will she burn the letter too? Where are all the feelings… .
Whatever you make of it, the stillness and containment in this painting keep bringing me back to it.
I wrote this poem in response to the painting titled Woman by Robert Campin. The painting can be found in the National Gallery, London. Here is the link: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/robert-campin-a-woman
My poem, Girl, can be found in the print Journal Off the Coast, International/Translation Issue, Spring 2009.
after ‘Woman’ by Robert Campin, 1378-1444, National Gallery
She rarely smiles. A thick, white veil
frames her face, stops her innocence
from straying too far;
remembering the world outside.
Here she lives, here she is
and here she stays: four walls,
bench, Bible, rosary, Cross,
pair of clogs, glass, pebble,
compass, chair, table.
She would be lost, but
for her little pleasure:
a bowl of coconut ice
refectory Sister leaves
on her windowsill.