Dis-Moi, Vincent–dVerse Haibun Monday

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Image: Wikipedia Commons

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it, Vincent? You view that church from across a field of golden waves, as though in getting too close you may be hurt yet again. As though that icon of faith would bring to mind the abysmal (apparent) failure you experienced in your ministry to miners. Am I correct?

So many years have passed now, and from my perspective, oh-so-much is more transparent. For you, it seemed failure dogged you your entire life—failure in love, failure in your passion for painting, failure to be accepted—even by your family. I know better. You never did.

Do you seek balance?
Blue that speaks of such sadness,
but yellow for joy.

(dis-moi is French for tell me, using the familiar form of the verb dire.)

Linked for dVerse Haibun Monday hosted this week by Bjorn. We hope you will join us! 

23 thoughts on “Dis-Moi, Vincent–dVerse Haibun Monday

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Dear Vincent! If only he knew how much we all love him now. I’m glad you spoke to him.


  2. Lovely, V. Oh to speak with such a man! I wonder if the blue meant sadness? In the metaphysical world, blue is the color of communication. Maybe he was reaching out and saying what he couldn’t say any other way. You have your words; he had his paints.


  3. Bodhirose says:

    I wonder too if knowing that he was indeed successful and revered if that would have had an impact on his mental health. He did use those blues and golds with such mastery. I loved this take on the prompt, Victoria.


  4. Cheryl-Lynn says:

    Such a compassionate read, Victoria, if only mental illness were better understood then as it is now. I think he saw much joy or hoped for it, as his yellows are so profound in many of his paintings that speak to me.


  5. lynn__ says:

    Oh, if only Vincent could have “opened up” to healing! He speaks yet through his paintings and I appreciate the view you shared.


  6. kelly says:

    I often wonder what Vincent would think now if he knew how beloved he and his work have become. Sad that he never knew while he lived, but the mark he left on this earth will always shine in that starry sky. A great take on the prompt!


  7. helenmidgley says:

    I loved the biographical element of this, really made me thinkk of the man rather than the picture 🙂


  8. In doing research for this haibun I had the impression he went ”mad” from overwork. An incredibly short career, only 10 years, producing hundreds of canvasses, living intensely, out in all weathers day and night, not eating enough. Oh hell.


  9. MarinaSofia says:

    Never thought of it this way before, but you do open up new possibilities in my mind. Those yellows and oranges speak to his love of life and deep desire to feel part of it, while the blues speak of his fears and disappointments. Here’s a quote from his letters, which attests to his attempts to maintain that balance.:
    ‘Every day I take the remedy that the incomparable Dickens prescribes against suicide. It consists of a glass of wine, a piece of bread and cheese and a pipe of tobacco… I try not to forget completely how to jest, I try to avoid everything that might relate to heroism and martyrdom, in short I try not to take lugubrious things lugubriously.’


  10. A wonderful interpretation of the painting. You really burrowed under his skin.


  11. Mama Zen says:

    Well done! I love your take on the prompt.


  12. Misky says:

    An unexpected approach, which I enjoyed reading.


  13. kaykuala h says:

    For one who was a genius and later a master in his calling to be denied of his dues. More so when it ended tragic with suicide.A pity! A clever twist Victoria!



  14. thotpurge says:

    Lovely tone here.. taking the conversation to the artist himself…brilliant.


  15. Grace says:

    I so admire the perspective inside the head of the painter, his pains and sadness ~ The colors in the haiku just captured the image hauntingly ~


  16. Kathy Reed says:

    Great idea trying to get into his mind, Victoria! I’m thinking it very plausible he thought himself a failure in life…I’m sure he found his peace..much too late however…so many sad stories of living in an asylum and what put people there.


  17. Kate Mia says:

    Environment of depression
    Environment of ecstasy and
    euphoria in art of life..
    as no different
    than the
    age of music
    painting expresses
    more of what human
    feels and senses
    as well
    or not
    so well..
    and for me..
    what is euphoria
    too most all the
    NOW is just
    grain of
    to be
    on by other feat..
    At age 21.. i cried for
    Vincent.. at
    age 55
    i feel
    but i see the
    other side
    and it
    is worth
    it.. worth it
    ALL.. joy and tears
    is life for folks like US..

    Wheat Fields
    heArt eYes..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mary says:

    Victoria, I think you have gotten inside of his mind here. I am wondering if he did do ministry to miners. Very sad if his life ended with him thinking himself a failure. Indeed blue and yellow are his colors.


  19. Suzanne says:

    It is hard not to make the association with van Gogh and madness. I like the way you have expressed such hope and passion in your haibun.


  20. kanzensakura says:

    Oh Victoria! This is incredible. I think the only time the poor man found peace was at that asylum where he painted in such beautiful blues and golds. He painted this and it was hung at the asylum for some time and still to this day, the residents’ painting are put on display. So I like to think for a time he had peace and acceptance at least at one place. Brilliant take on this prompt. I think I have found another Van Gogh groupie in this poetic team.


  21. Ah… i love how you have taken Vincent to the therapist here… I so much wonder too, how did he see those waves in the fields.. the church almost leaning backward, afraid.. or maybe ready to attack… a brilliant haibun Victoria..


Your comment and feedback are important to me. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s