Art is a Springboard for Poetry

Nature takes my breath away. Not as often as it used to, I admit, but frequently enough. When it does, I want to capture that feeling in poetry. Art has the same effect. Sometimes just looking at a painting brings to mind a person or a moment in time, and a poem forms. I am amazed at how related various forms of art can be— such as literature, music, film, and traditional media like painting and sculpture.

A few years ago, I looked at a painting my dad had recently finished titled Song of Spring. I was immediately inspired to write a poem.  The picture shows a beautiful array of multi-colored tulips against a blue sky. You can view the painting here (it’s the third picture in the center column). When I saw it, I thought about the tulips and how each color seemed to represent a different characteristic. I remembered how the tulips near my house would spring up with such vibrant color, “dancing in the breeze. ” What makes tulips more unique is their short bloom time during the spring. They were gone as quickly as they arrived, but not without leaving a deep impression in my mind. I love these flowers. Here is the poem:

Song of Spring

Through the frost of winter’s embrace
and the cold of a lonely April day, 
the tulips seem to rise, and bask in their grace.
They chatter with the wind
through leaves and stems of green.
They look so beautiful.
 
This is their song of spring.
 
Light as a feather or leaf,
the breeze lets them go.
Nothing in the world confines them.
The petals surely know.
Who would dare to cover, 
the beauty of their leaves?
Under the sky they speak to us.
 
This is their song of spring.
 
Pink is the woman of beauty, 
black mourns the rain.
Yellow competes with the sun,
dancing in its gaze.
White purifies the land,
red boasts with pride.
Orange whistles at the trees,
purple never cries.
 
From their bulbs of eternal happiness,
may there always be
a place in every yard or home
to let the tulips sing.
 

If you are looking for some inspiration, I encourage you to view different kinds of art. Visit a museum, local art show, or a gallery and explore the various emotions you feel from each piece. Viewing artwork can remind us of long forgotten events and stories. Some of my best poems were inspired by a painting or photograph. Have you tried this before? If so, please share it below. If not, I hope you will take the time to do so. After you have tried it, come back and leave a comment. I would love to hear your stories!