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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Beyond the Mission, Under the Fortune Palms


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 Blue Trees: Paul Gauguin, 1888, oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm (Ordrupgaardsamlingen, Ordrupgaard)



Some people think meanings are hard to find
In that decade of great emptiness
Among the bungalows of Samarkand
I stood under the fortune palms
And watched for a sign to blow by
In the throbbing Santa Ana
But all that came my way
Was the distant echo of a woman’s voice
From down around Xanadu Street
Calling for her dog to stay






Ia Orana Maria (Hail Mary): Paul Gauguin, 1891, oil on canvas, 114 x 98 cm (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

4 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

those blue trees are so awesome, alongside
"the distant echo of a woman’s voice
From down around Xanadu Street
Calling for her dog to stay"

3.7

light coming into sky above still black
plane of ridge, red-tailed hawk calling
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

effect of, portrait of dark
blue form with yellow

happening here, “that it is”
of, “that” it appears

silver line of sun reflected in channel,
shadowed green canyon of ridge above it


Wooden Boy said...

I'm with Stephen on those blue trees. Against the gold of the sky, they're very present; "blue form with yellow/ happening here"

The woman hid behind the third trunk, making herself small is hardly there.

In the greater distance in the poem, that other woman, her voice. This comes into the head:

"That is God... A shout in the street".

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Mission(s) accomplished.

TC said...

Stranger perhaps than fiction, Samarkand is the name of a real neighborhood, Xanadu the name of a real street.

The woman of the poem had no halo, but blue hair, though perhaps not so blue as the blue of Gauguin's trees.