First Anniversary and Van Gogh’s Ear

Hey, it’s exactly one year ago today that I published my first blog. My aim was to write a post once a fortnight. This is my 26th post so I almost made it.

Today’s post is a poem I wrote about Van Gogh.

Self-Portrait-with-Bandaged-Ear

Hey Vincent,

Did you really cut your ear off?

They say you wrapped it in a cloth

And gave it to a prostitute

Like a cheese

 

But now, some say your friend Gauguin did it

That you had an argument

And he slashed it with his sword

Which you threw in the river

To protect him

 

Is that why he sailed to the seven seas?

Is that why you went mad?

Was he consumed by guilt?

Or did he just not care?

You never spoke again

 

Self-Portrait-with-Bandaged-Ear

Did you paint it to remind him of your pact?

The pact of silence

The last words you wrote to him

‘You are quiet. I will be too.’

Two years later, you were dead

The poem was inspired by an article in The Daily Telegraph  – 4th May 2009 -which discusses a theory put forward by two German art historians that Van Gogh’s ear was cut off with a sword by his friend Gauguin during an argument. I can’t reproduce the image of ‘Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear,’ here due to copyright, but click here to see the painting. It is more usually thought that Van Gogh mutilated his own ear.

(The book is called ‘Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans.)

Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog over the past year.

 

 

 

 

 

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