Georgia O'Keeffe, "Evening Star, No. III," (1917), MoMA.
The painting above by Georgia O'Keeffe is the inspiration for this poem by Edward Hirsch:
(Georgia O'Keeffe in Canyon, Texas, 1917)
She was just a schoolteacher then
Walking away from the town
in the late-afternoon sunset,
A young woman in love
with a treeless place,
The scattered windmills and pounding winds
Of the whole prairie sliding toward dusk,
Something unfenced and wild
about the world without roads,
Miles and miles of land
rolling like waves into nowhere,
The light settling down in the open country.
She had nothing to but walk away
From the churches and banks, the college buildings
Of knowledge, the filling stations
of the habitable world,
And then she was alone
with what she believed--
The shuddering iridescence of heat lightning,
Cattle moving like black lace in the distance,
Wildflowers growing out of bleached skills,
The searing oranges and yellows of the evening star
Rising in daylight,
commanding the empty spaces.
It may be considered an ekphrastic poem. Ekphrasis is art about art, which can be visual, written, or another form of art created in response. I think, however, that the poem here is more a study of the artist than the work itself. No matter, it's a fine poem!
Oops, I almost forgot...the Round-Up is being held in New Hampshire this week--right up the road a piece at Matt's place, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.