“The Sitting”

Lenoir,_Charles-Amable_-_A_la_Recherche_du_Temps_Perdu (2)Lenoir,_Charles-Amiable ‘A_La_Recherche_du_Temps_Perdu. (In Search of Lost Time)

“The Sitting”

The lady yearns for briefest rest

held captive by the artist quest.

A simple pause; her smile beguiles.

Her almond eyes belie the lies.

Mid curve of  lips, a cautious glance.

But youth is harmed; so brief the dance.

And, stealthily, her feelings flee.

Her cries are hidden hastily

behind her smile.

“John Singer Sargent’s ‘Portrait of a Couple'”

paw challenge poem or paul-helleu-sketching-his-wife-1889“John Sargent’s ‘Portrait of a Couple'”

John Sargent’s ‘Portrait of a Couple'”

John’s painting paired the couple in their prime
Young Alice is Paul’s ‘lily, lily fair’.
John Sargent strives for images, ideal.
‘La Belle Epoque’ meant beauty in their time.
Impressionistic art has valued place.
John’s pair exhibited beyond that date.

Paul’s talent with his art had early date.
Monet, Manet, were friends in happy prime.
But father disapproves the artist’s place
and Helleu’s state of mind was only fair.
So, Sargent helps his young friend at that time.
Paul’s art becomes society’s ideal.

Thus John and Paul form friendship that’s ideal.
They find each other at an early date.
John Singer; twenty-two; Paul’s teenage time.
Paul’s fear of hunger stresses in his prime.
John Sargent bought Paul’s paintings; priced them fair.
Infused enthusiasm in Paul’s place.

Grand Central Staion is a New York place
and in a wide alcove is Paul’s ideal
with astrological depiction fair
that he is asked to paint upon that date.
That gracious time; ‘Belle Epoque’ in its prime
where Proust and fashion’s ladies spent their time.

Paul met young Alice at an early time.
At age fourteen she found, with Paul, her place
as model fair and lovely in her prime.
At sixteen, marriage formed was their ideal.
Thus linked together, happy on that date;
their marriage was a lasting love affair.

Their portrait represents ‘Belle Epoque’ fare.
Where artist, Paul, paints in that era’s time.
We see him on that elegant, bright date.
Impressionistic light falls on their place.
We understand John’s painting as ideal:
a couple whom he loves and calls it prime.

The painting’s place, a memoir that’s ideal.
It’s canvas linked upon that date and time:
‘La Belle Epoque’; fair painting in John’s prime.


Form of Poem:  Sestina.

Paul Cesar Helleu Sketching with his wife (1889) by American Artist, John Singer Sargent.
Location: Fladbury Rectory, Pershore, England.
Period: La Belle Epoch (the beautiful time) to Roaring Twenties
Alice Guerin, married age 16 (her daughter, Paulette, lived to be 104 years old in 2009) Paul Cesar Helleu, born 1859, died, peritonitis, 1927 (age 68). Dry point pastel, he drew on a copper plate with stylus. Impressionism. Monet was his friend. He had Manet and Cezanne hanging in his bedroom.  Other friends: Boldini, Proust. Of Proust, their daughter( Paulette Helleu Howard-Johnston) stated : “Oh, Proust! We thought nothing of him. He was a little man sitting in the corner.”  Paul Helleu, her father, painted Astrological ceiling in Grand Central Station. Helleu was a society portraitist in France, like Charles Dana Gibson in America.







“DaVinci’s ‘Mona Lisa'”

MonaIt’s all about her look; a placid guile.
We know her well; that enigmatic glance.
Suggestive are her lips; a warmth of style.
She teases us; her eyes a bit askance.
A reticence enhances lady’s charm.
Anticipation in his mind may leap.
Expectancy has power to disarm.
A popular diversion pastimes keep.
The world still favors subtlety of sex.
DaVinci must have known his buyer’s dream
when he took brush-in-hand.  His Mona’s hex
elusive as her curving lips now seem.
She hesitates, and most agree with me
Time’s still not taken all her mystery.

Botticelli’s ‘Allegory of Spring’

Botticelli’s ‘Allegory of Spring’botticelli-primavera
The painter’s brush gives voice to Greece and Rome:
Poliziano’s poems depict just how
the pagan, Venus, with her loving om
now stands with Cupid’s arrow over brow.
When Zephyrus germinates his girl with air
then gentle Flora has her flowered fling;
inseminates imaginings so fair
that airily her vines awake to spring.
Three graces waltz and turn in harmony
as past and present to the future bow.
As Botticelli paints, sublime and free,
our Mercury fragments the forming cloud.
“‘Humanitarian’, this Venus play”
or, thus, the Pope defines her in his day.

Berthe Morisot’s ‘The Cradle’

Berthe Morisot’s ‘The Cradle’”

Her baby girl; her sleeping child is here

and breathless mother watches as she dreams.

Her tiny mouth moves just to share the air;

in twinkling innocence, her young face beams.

An angel’s here; her sleeping star is near.

All nature listens for the slightest sound.

And all the world is silent just to hear

each moment of her beating heart resound.

Her precious daughter yawns and then she sleeps

and all the realm of nature cannot best

this miracle.  She slumbers as she peeps

with mother’s gentle sway, her babe’s at rest.

Outshines the stars, this being full of grace

as mother rocks her cradle mid the lace.A Baby




“Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night'”



Stars swirl across the heavens

scream spinning out of sight!
So Van Gogh paints their glow;
starry, vivid, gleaming night.
Starstruck, I hear him sing to me.
Star-shines his soul throughout my years.
Silent mystic;  midst his tears.