Awhile back I mentioned that I had a couple of poems selected for a poetry anthology. My submissions centered on the night sky, and one thought in particular jumped straight into my head once I had the topic. “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous and recognizable paintings in the history of humans, so it was only natural for that imagery to leap directly into my forethought. Now anybody could write a description of the painting based on its layers, texture, movement, and whatever the hell that giant black blob is in the foreground, but I wanted to put a spin on it.
Much like my short stories lately, I couldn’t just write something straight forward. I needed a small plot twist somewhere in there. So instead of focusing on the painting, I started looking at it through the eyes of the creator. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was capable of pulling off my idea when it first came to me, before I started working on it, but I think it turned out pretty okay! I’m including the poem in its full glory below, complete with the Van Gogh background, but the size isn’t ideal in order to read it on here, so I’ll post the text below the image. (Or the image should open in a new window if you click on it. Maybe. Possibly.) Let me know in the comments below if you think I pulled off the plot twist!
What would you do if given a blank canvas?
Each artist has their own approach.
This legendary painter decided to douse his in blue.
A brilliant field of dark blue behind a quilt of masterful brush strokes.
Millions of markings, layers upon layers of original thought.
Each new color swirling around,
Moving, mesmerizing, intertwining with one another.
Each stroke reflecting a new feeling from the creator.
And each one a work of art on their own.
They say life imitates art.
“Let there be light,” He commanded, and there was light.
A swirling moon was placed above the horizon.
“Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky,” and twinkling stars shone brightly in the vast darkness.
Below that came a cityscape, dotted with even more, tiny lights.
His creation, in His image. And it was good.
Indeed, this Creator delivered on every thought, and left His creation just as He wanted.
After all, art imitates life, they say.