As many of you may know, in the years of my “art discouragement,” I concentrated more on writing and photography than on painting. But I did make a practice of seeking out artwork that inspired me to write poetry. I haven’t written much poetry lately, but thought you might enjoy seeing one of my efforts from that time.
The following poem was inspired by one of the most familiar paintings in the world, “La Joconde,” AKA “Mona Lisa,” by Leonardo DaVinci.
by Charlotte Mertz
as inspired by Leonardo DaVinci
O Leonardo, look at you,
Dabbing with your paints, day after day,
Specks of paint adorn your robe and face
(As if you were concerned with such).
Your eyes drift off as to a distant scene,
Ideas swirl too fast for you to catch
And tame and bring into your sense of order.
Women are like that, my friend.
Look at me. You look at me and paint my form,
But do you see the thoughts within
Or know what passions drive my heart?
When you speak at all, it’s with such depth
That I can’t fathom where your mind resides;
And when you hold your tongue,
I’m left to ponder where your passion bides.
We’re much alike, I’ve come to think;
You take yourself a bit too conscientiously
And leave me not quite comfortable.
You’re enigmatic; it seems ironic that you’re so
Intriguing to my knowledge-thirsty soul.
I sit here contemplating you
And wonder what you find so wonderful in me.
Have you ever written either poetry or prose inspired by a painting? If any of my artwork has prompted you to write creatively, I’d love to read what you have done.
Please send it by email with subject “POETRY” (even if it’s prose). If you include your name, the name of the work that inspired your writing, and a note of permission, I might even post it here in my blog. But if you’d rather not make it public, that’s okay, too.