VAN GOGH IN ARLES.
Against the mistral I shoved
The feet of my easel into the earth,
Pushed in iron pegs to secure it,
And tied everything together with ropes.
Town violet, star yellow, sky blue green;
The wheat fields have all the tones:
Old gold, copper, green gold, red gold,
Yellow gold, green, red and yellow bronze.
The brutal wind beat me, yet I stood.
Everything not fixed was scattered.
What does a man get for his toil
When his thoughts are grief and heartache,
His dreams brooding, and speech foolish?
My love of art drove away human love.
Like the ox of St. Luke, patron of painters,
I shouldered the stupefying yoke.
Immortal is the art that creates life.
What am I in the larva of myself,
With the sun in my head
And a thunderstorm in my heart?
On other planets lit by other suns,
May there also be shapes and lines and colors.
Over other peopleís wisdom,
I preferred my own madness
Giving strength and brilliance
To the full sun and the blue sky,
To the scorched and melancholy fields,
Their delicate scent of thyme.
The dark silver of the olive trees,
Green saddened by gray and black,
The sickly pink smile of the last autumn roseó
My life is here, among these clods of earth.
Often Iím like a sleepwalker,
Not knowing what Iím doing.
Yet leaving enchantment behind,
Showing whatís true, and possible:
In one canvas, a feeling of anxiety;
In the other, calm, a great peace.