The Artist's Garden at Giverny
Inspiration from Monet
France is a lovely, beautiful country. The language is poetic, the people are intriguing, the food is superb and the countryside is filled with flowers and trees and lovely landscapes, perfect for a Monet painting. I have always loved France since attempting to learn the language in high school and writing letters to my pen pal in an area now known as Alsace, Lorraine.
One day ten or so years ago, I had the chance to buy a Monet print of his painting, Le Jardin. I loved the colors and enchanting, ethereal beauty of the garden and decided to hang it in my bedroom. I would look at it every time I walked into my room and one particular night while getting ready for bed, I sat on the edge of my bed and imagined myself in that garden. It was as if my imagination coaxed me into this poetic world of Giverny where Monet had painted the original Le Jardin.
".... the garden is the retreat of an artist... the flowers are his companions... he wants to be able to caress them as he goes by... to feel them close to him... friendly and beneficent parts of his life..."
An excerpt from Le Temps, 1904, describing Le Jardin.
Le Jardin by Claude Monet
The Birth of a Narrative Poem
I was fascinated. I went to the library and checked out massive art books talking about Monet and his paintings. I wanted to find out his inspiration and know more about him as a man. My creative juices were aching to write a poem about this lovely garden. I read and read and jotted down notes. Claude Monet loved his garden. It became his world. “More than anything, I must have flowers, always, always.” He created a world of flowers for every season. I filled many pages of a notebook with the types of flowers, the colors, the surrounding area and started writing.
I decided it would be a narrative, rhythmic poem, with rhyme and meter. Narrative poems tell a story like a work of art themselves. Some of the oldest, greatest poems are narrative and they have endured throughout history. I wanted it to be the song of a young woman who finds her love in this magical land. Lyrical in nature, the words would flow as she weaves in and about this poetic world of Monet’s painting.
I wrote it in story form first and then took each section and composed the poem. The entire process from inspiration to completion took a few months and when it was completed, I felt as if I had given birth to a child. Some poems are difficult to understand except to the poet only. I wanted this poem to be understood by anyone, to take them on this imaginative, magical journey into a painting, a garden of delight. Please enjoy her.
Le Pont Japonais
"all of a sudden, I had the revelation of how enchanting my pond was."
"a profusion of white, pink, yellow and mauve, blond flesh tones against shades of orange, blazing copper, violets, black purples..."
"hollyhocks rise above this resplendent wave of color, light and vaporous, little dancer skirts that balloon and billow"
"fairy tale magic of poppies covering withering irises"
"he surrounded his house with flowers, wherever he happened to be. beauty soothes his eyes and its life flows into him"
Le Jardin d'Enchantment
Sweet- toned sky above me blue
awakens me with sighs for you,
perfume scents my bed of moss,
the willows whisper their soft caress.
This breeze across my face does blow
silken tresses of gold do glow,
star blue eyes so deep they see
through dark green waters, they gaze back at me.
A wisp of hair behind my ear,
I hear his voice inside me clear.
I gently touch my soft, round breast,
and follow the waters silhouette.
Stirs of passion inside me rise,
I lift my arms to reach the skies.
I dance in grand circles to these whispering trees,
"It is time, our fair maiden, he is waiting for thee."
I will dance in this delicate morning light
while the path is clear and bright.
No shadow will I dance upon,
in morning light I sing my song.
In my soft dress of yellow, satin so fine,
I call to him sweetly, "oh sun god divine.
I come to you shortly, my captor, my man
there I will dance for you, come kiss me again."
Through the blossoms he sees her, his dream of temptation,
the saffron and hollyhocks, sweet breath of carnation;
he loses himself in these colors and hues,
enchanted he looks in her eyes of star blue.
The roses then call to him, "go, kiss her hand,
embrace her, dance with her in this magical land
she will love you, adore you, open up like a flower,
her smiles, they will warm you and bring you great power."
She dances, now breathless, and draws to him near,
he kisses her hand and wipes away her tear,
embraces her deeply, 'dans ce dance de grande' passion
their love in full bloom in le jardin d'enchantment.
Giverny - The Magic of Monet's Garden
Informative Links About Monet and Impressionism
- How Monet's Garden Grew - France Today
Details about Claude Monet and his garden, the types of flowers he planted.
- Rick Steves\' Europe: Monet\'s Giverny Gardens
Planning tips to help maximize your time and money spent in Europe.
- Impressionism: Art and Modernity | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropol
A discussion of impressionism from the Metropolitan.
- Narrative Poems
A collection of poems that tell a story or narrative.