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.
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
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.