Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ATELIER CEZANNE, by CLARENCE MAJOR

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ATELIER CEZANNE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Blue chair / we whisper
Subject(s): Van Gogh, Vincent (1853-1890)

Blue chair.
We whisper.
Blue chest. We whisper here.
Here's the green apple.
a woman with braided chestnut hair
enters carrying green apples.
Here's a red one.
the candle.
Old jar.
Your top hat.
Your stained suit.
Your frozen garden.
It's like van Gogh's girl
against a wheat field: the wheat
is more important than the girl.
Things don't grow and express
themselves at the same time.
The bottle with the peppermint
I accept in its stillness, the rum too.
My eyes may swell red
and my fingers may grow thick.
I will die as you have died.
I will choose, at the last moment,
to see death in everything -- in corn,
in lowers, in birds, and bats.
Your frozen garden is close
to the skyline that we call
the edge. We do not plan
to eat things from it.
It on the other hand eats at you
and me -- and Vincent, too.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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