A Painter Without a Brush

A Painter Without a Brush

No canvas could hold the thoughts that race through my mind,
the scenes that never play out as I consider alternativ
e
after alternative. While a poet might take pen in hand,
write the words to express the confusion and mayhem
that fills his mind, do I dare take brush to canvas
when even my finished thoughts are never really complete?

This poem is my response to Poetics: The Poet as Painter, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of five suggested painting titles as inspiration for a poem, without looking at the artwork. An added challenge is to write a second part to the poem as an ekphrastic after viewing the artwork. I have chosen “A Painter Without a Brush,” by Gerhard Richter, which actually is a link to “ABSTRAKTES BILD, 1987,” an abstract by Richter using his signature squeegee technique that is a diptych (two panels meant to be side-by-side) of immense size. The short film about Richter and his technique can be found here: Gerhard Richter: The Painter Without a Brush.

Today has been a day of disjointed thoughts for me – from looking for misplaced items (I just had that a minute ago!) to arriving at the grocery store with my shopping list still sitting on the kitchen table, to realizing my tea had been steeping for a half-hour, to stopping mid-thought to retrieve the item I’d misplaced earlier. All with a little procrastination thrown in. Although not my typical day, it’s held a bumper crop of typical ADD moments. Thus, this poem. I admit that I was aware of Richter as an abstract artist before reading this prompt, so that may have played into the writing of this. After viewing the painting, I don’t know how I could add to the poem.

To make matters worse, my first three attempts to link this went back to the dVerse prompt. I had to close my browser to clear my clipboard cache. It’s just been one of those days!

37 thoughts on “A Painter Without a Brush

  1. Interesting process – interesting to think of parallels/contrasts between poetry and paintings – both require a canvas of sorts and ink/paint of sorts … except that poetry can be spoken and never recorded. I suppose an image can be spoken and never seen? Both lend themselves to subsequent revisions …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is gorgeously rendered! The poem matches the mood of the painting precisely as though lending a voice to the brushstrokes. I especially love; “do I dare take brush to canvas when even my finished thoughts are never really complete?”💝 I think you would do wonders with it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fine question you pose at the end: ‘do I dare take brush to canvas
    when even my finished thoughts are never really complete?’
    I never really thought about ‘finished thoughts’ before, but now you have drawn my attention to it it is true they are never complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ingrid. Thoughts, opinions and perspectives are always evolving. Sometimes, mine come out of the blue. When they go right back in, as mine often do, it means fishing them back out. Sometimes I get a bite. Other times I just have to wait for them to come back around. And yes, even when finished they are still evolving.

      Liked by 1 person

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