A Poem A Day

Monet Refuses the Operation

by Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say that there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent.  The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases.  Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

  1. anotherarspoetica reblogged this from apoemaday
  2. notsafeforkate reblogged this from harryflynn
  3. harryflynn reblogged this from apoemaday
  4. thelittlelionheartedgirl reblogged this from apoemaday
  5. emptytraincars reblogged this from harryflynn
  6. prufrocklobster reblogged this from apoemaday
  7. sarahtaylorgibson reblogged this from so-sherlockian and added:
    Dear God this is beautiful
  8. fealle reblogged this from etirabys and added:
    darling.
  9. etirabys reblogged this from apoemaday
  10. malkovichmalkovich reblogged this from apoemaday
  11. sunbeamsfromcucumbers reblogged this from apoemaday
  12. so-sherlockian reblogged this from apoemaday
  13. robotunicorncastiel reblogged this from vitaminemgee
  14. vitaminemgee reblogged this from apoemaday
  15. thedesertgypsy reblogged this from apoemaday
  16. something-significant reblogged this from apoemaday
  17. lunarstrength reblogged this from apoemaday
  18. quality-cafe reblogged this from apoemaday
  19. themaninthearena reblogged this from apoemaday
  20. apoemaday posted this