chiaroscuro


chiar•oscu•ro
• :pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color
• :the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art
• :the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character)

Photo: remiart.deviantart.com

Photo: remiart.deviantart.com

chiaroscuro

you evoke strong texture
broad slashes of pain
spidery intaglio wrinkled into skin,
into soul.

movement of transient light
sweeps away shadows
that puddle into crevices of mountain slopes.

i’ve vivid memories of soft touches,
feathery stroke imbuing patterns of grace
into the emptiness of night.

why do you mock me now?

A very rough draft penned using random words selected from Gardner’s Art History text book. I wrote this for the theme of art as metaphor that I offered today for dVerse Meeting the Bar. Please join us.

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20 thoughts on “chiaroscuro

  1. yelena says:

    ‘feathery stroke imbuing patterns of grace
    into the emptiness of night…’ – loved this.

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  2. That was a new word for me . . .I learn something every day. This is the ultimate play of light and dark.

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  3. peach blossom moth says:

    Oh, wow. The last line is haunting. Some of your language leads me to believe this is spiritual, while other words make me picture the broken heart that follows a breakup. Again, the ending is so strong.

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  4. Have always loved that word ‘chiaroscuro’ – and your poem definitely
    has that effect – wonderful

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  5. humbird says:

    I’d say about your poem “patterns of grace”…love esp. ‘shadows
    that puddle into crevices of mountain slopes.’ …effective last line leaves us pondering about gardens, flowers, people and all of the rest…

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  6. Interesting poem illustrating the dark and light. I have this art history book too.

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  7. The use of your metaphors is amazing and very visual.

    The ending of your poem just blow me away. 🙂

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  8. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Too often we are mocked for our efforts, as other’s emotions supersede our efforts, our forays into artistic expression; have always loved the play of shadow & light; one of my favorite photographic choices, with an album of them to peruse now. Adore your lines /spidery intaglio wrinkled into skin/into soul/.

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  9. This is vivid and wonderful and the accompanying photo is perfection. I enjoyed this prompt, Victoria! It jogged a few phrases loose upstairs, LOL. I am always grateful for that.

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  10. Your first vivid verse took me to the way a painter “sees” into the soul of a person and then puts that on paper/canvas, sometimes in a way the person isn’t really comfortable seeing.

    janet

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  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    fascinating — not sure of the question — ?faded love?

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  12. I love chiascuro paintings, specially Caravaggio. Your poem is brilliant!

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  13. Kathy Reed says:

    I, too, thought it might be you at a previous time…the starkness of life can be cold and heartless.. the many subtleties are hidden like words between written lines. Beautiful poem.

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  14. I think the darkness and the sharp strokes is when we see those lines are when we have lost the nuances and has to go on and make the painful decisions. It might be clear but the ambiguity of a soft feather is where we want to be.

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  15. claudia says:

    words from the Gardner’s Art History text book…? how cool is that… and really like what you did… the play of shade and light… the texture and what it can do to us emotionally as well

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  16. rmp says:

    ooh…I like the contrast of light and shadows. I’m not sure what it is, but there is something seductive about this…and the last line…that question…is just as intriguing as the rest.

    you created quite an intriguing challenge to boot. I look forward to reading the pieces that ensue from your dVere prompt…the few I’ve read already, I’ve quite enjoyed.

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  17. Well.. my first thought was that was a younger picture of you.. until I saw the photo credit.. and shadows do say so much more it seems of emotion when not colored by pre-existing notions of color…

    And for some reason/feeling now that i see deeper into the shadows.. it does seem like a woman that was not loved as a child.. the way children can be touched when young.. in comfort ways.. for trust.. of the REST of life…:)in lighter ways…..

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  18. Those first two stanzas are beautiful and I like your ending with a question.

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