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Monthly Archives: November 2008


ARTIST: Claude Monet (1840~1926)

PAINTING : Wild Poppies (oil on canvas, 1873)

EXHIBITION : reproduction in art book Mothers & Children (Metro Books, 1995) by Roxana Marcoci

NOTE : The same two figures appear twice in the painting : Monet’s wife Camille and her son Jean.




They walk briskly, a boy and his mother on their way

through the fields, passing the uncountable

scarlet poppies, and already forgetting

that other child and woman behind them

descending a grassy hill : the lives they had lived

only moments earlier, before the poppies

went uncounted.

…………………………Tomorrow my daughter turns

sixteen, hours of girlhood gone like so many

blossoms fallen upon a meadow.

……………………………………………It’s hard to tell, but

possibly, this closer boy is holding a clump of flowers

freshly picked, hands hidden by one immediate

color. Oh son, don’t wait to offer the gift.

Lift red petals to your mother.


by Therese L. Broderick



Vigee Le Brun

ARTIST : Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun (1755-1842)

PAINTING : Self-Portrait with Daughter Julie (1789)

EXHIBITION : Plate 12 in book Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun by Gita May (Yale University Press, 2005)


Julie, Age Nine

The girl will not be pried away,
arms around her mother’s neck.
Last night’s dreams were terrifying~~

shouting and running and cannon fires.
Now this morning in softest light,
the girl will not be pried away

from beside her mother’s bedroom chair~~
a child too old for lap or breast,
but not for sleep that terrifies.

How warily she turns her eyes
to meet our gaze, a look suggesting
she yearns to pry her mother away

from painting’s hold on royalty:
Ma mere a peint Marie Antoinette.
Liberty’s dreams bring terrible nights

in this year of seventeen eighty-nine
when history demands a letting go.
But no little girl can be pried away
from dreams of queens so terrified.


by Therese L. Broderick




ARTIST : Claude Monet (1840~1926)

PAINTING : Camille Monet sur son lit de mort  (translated : Camille Monet on her death bed)

EXHIBITION : Musee d’Orsay (Paris ; summer 2007)




Aiming his medical camera beneath my sterile sheets,
he swabs some protein specks, waits as they turn

to white, to the pearly lace of cancer.

This scene should not be happening~~I still adore
my husband, our daughter is due for vaccines

here it is: a doctor who invites me to watch along
as he takes a final sample. Cells as lovely as

the gauze, en blanc, shrouding Camille Monet.


by Therese L. Broderick




ARTIST: Theodore Robinson (1852-1896)

PAINTING : The Wedding March (oil on canvas, 1892)

EXHIBITION : “Impressionist Giverny” on loan at Albany Institute of History and Art (Albany, NY ; fall 2008)


To the Painter Who Painted the Wedding March Entirely from Memory

You believed her,
your memory, to be as faithful
as a bride, trusting what she
described to you of that morning
on a winding country lane~~how the couple
rushed arm-in-arm from town hall to church,
long veil stirred by a spring breeze,
flower girl running to keep up,
a few guests lagging behind.
Those lovers in such a hurry
to be clergy-blessed.

As bells pealed, did you rush home
to sketch this scene
before a first betrayal (some
forgotten color) could curse
a marriage?


by Therese L. Broderick




ARTIST : Anne Lindberg

ARTWORK : parallel 10 (plumbago), 2007  (graphite on board, 2007)

EXHIBITION : “Thoreau Reconsidered” at Concord Art Association (Concord, MA ; fall 2008)

NOTE : artist has seen this poem



Anne Lindberg’s parallel 10 (plumbago), 2007  

How these lines fallen straight
from a single hand
graph the common ancestry of
my kissing cousins.

How their placement in fields
of shine or shade
trace our well-spaced gatherings
at mountain cabins, mistletoed tables.

How their strokes in multitudes
surpass the simple tally
of children’s drawings.
Just as, years ago,
once past the age of pencils,

I couldn’t put a number to
the ardor which grew for him,
my lingering teenage cousin.

How this plumbago keeps
that narrow berth
always between us.


by Therese L. Broderick



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