Today’s prompt by napowrimo.net was to write a monologue in the voice of a dead person. The person I chose to write today is Vincent Van Gogh.
Before you continue, please check out my best friend’s pages (Kittu’s Modern Mixtape and Amour Infini) for their NaPoWriMo entries as well because we’re doing this together, this year, and they are absolutely brilliant writers that you do not want to miss out on.
I have probably never researched this much to write a poem. This poem is filled with snippets from letters he wrote to his brother Theo, mentions of his works, some details that I got after watching the movie ‘Loving Vincent’ (upon my best friend’s suggestion after I told her I had picked Van Gogh), and of course, a lot of imagery as is always the case with my poems.
Content Warning: This poem contains mentions of suicide, blood and death. If you are uncomfortable with any of these, please do not proceed.
Don’t miss out on the endnotes for more about this poem! I hope you enjoy reading it! Xx
Yellow is a happy colour.
The blues always seem to accompany, though—
I should know;
I once lived in a yellow house,
Under the sulphur sun and the pure cobalt sky,
I once envisioned an eternity within.
I think to myself as I behold the street,
These yellow houses under the sun,
Also the incomparable freshness of the blue;
All the ground is yellow too.
Yellow is a happy colour.
But there are always flecks of blue.
A vase with fourteen sunflowers,
A vase with irises against yellow,
An orchard in blossom, bordered by cypresses,
Yellow picket fences and trees blooming yellow,
And the sower under the yellow sun,
A field dotted with yellow flowers
Fresh in my memory of the garden at Etten,
The starry night swirling in melancholy blue
Only brightened by the yellow stars,
And a yellow crescent moon—
Paint my world in shades of warmth,
Shades I could never quite erase…
Yellow is a happy colour,
Standing out amidst all the swirling blues.
One must have wondered what an oddball I must be,
For what soul is ever so lonely
To brighten up at the sight of thieving crows?
What state must my heart be in
To wield my paintbrush,
No matter what the weather,
Day in and day out?
They kept me company
As I walked down the riverbed,
To catch the early light breaking the blue dawn.
The light was special.
The light was
The thing is,
The days seem like…
Seem like weeks.
The days seem like weeks to me,
Live longer and you shall see
How life brings down the strongest trees,
Uprooted in the storms, strewn aside—
I feel absolutely calm and in a normal state,
As ‘normal’ as an oddball could be, I suppose.
I wallowed in my blues until my dawn,
The sky turning yellow and bright.
And yellow was a happy colour.
Like those fields in Auvers
Where I stood doing what I loved,
By my easel, and in my hand,
In my hand a paintbrush,
I remember those fields as clear as day,
Gunshot ringing in my ears,
Yellow ground stained red—
Yellow would be a happier colour,
And the sadness will last forever
Now that it would all end, instead.
Promise me you’ll walk by the fields of yellow,
Pluck a sunflower in my memory,
Promise me when you think of yellow,
You’ll think of happiness,
You’ll think of me.
~© Shubhangi Srinivasan.
This poem is probably the saddest one that I have ever written because it really requires you to get into the head of that person, and no matter how much I try, I can’t really begin to fathom the kind of demons that Van Gogh actually battled for such a long period of time. Of course, I could never really understand, but I tried my best to write what could possibly be Van Gogh’s monologue, and I can only hope that I have done justice to it, the best I could. I hope you liked the poem.
The Shubhster. Xx