to Nocturne in Black and Gold (Whistler)

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Never so brightly had she shone

above the Weimar, cold with eyes

left peering, fearing dark advancing

down from heav’n to earth tonight.

 

Alas, my lady would not budge

nor cease nor brake nor even veer

her flight to greener grass and softer

sands to toil, soil to turn.

 

So sad to see her go, I was

alone and left beside myself

to numbly stare above and wonder

what more could be done.

 

…What more could be done?

 

So in secret I made haste

I drew my kite-string ’round her waist

and tied it tight within a knot

with skill so sleek… she knew it not.

Thus I planned to hold her back

from freedom and dangerous attack!

 

Off she took without a care

headstrong and headed straight towards

the sky, and starlets in her hair

were gleaming as the night approached.

 

They met mid-way with such a clash

(the kite string drawn, pulled tight, and snapped)

she vanished then within a flash –

and ash came floating down.

 

I weakly watched without a sound

as starlets trickled to the ground

and wondered if she still would live

had I not held her back.

 

…had I not held her back

 

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7 thoughts on “to Nocturne in Black and Gold (Whistler)

    • Tony Franklin

      No way. I’m the poet, not the painter. This was a poem written as an interpretation of the painting: Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

    • Tony Franklin

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. I hope to write some poems for his other nocturnes as well, although I agree that this is probably the better one of the bunch.

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