His sable brush gave birth to a blue
so blue it was almost bruised,
and there an iv’ry, there a white,
He saw with just one ear but all his soul.
Come summer irises bloomed, Poplars
swayed and van Gogh captured the splendor,
He painted wind, turning
its force to vision, art’s epiphany.
His Poplars kept vigil through other
summers, the bearded irises reigned
regal in their plot. Who
knows the how or the why? It had to be.
Spring breezes whisper ‘his torment’s end’,
Summer thunder booms ‘a childish prank’;
By whose hands was it done?
Some say that genius is always weak,
Some say he found his peace.
(van Gogh died on July 29, 1890/ It has always been assumed that he shot himself in the chest, wishing to end his life. However, his biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith argue that van Gogh did not commit suicide but was shot accidentally by a boy he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”. I read that a group of boys were heckling Van Gogh, as was their usual sport, and their intent was not to harm him but just to scare him. It is claimed he exonerated them before his death, verifying that the gun had misfired.)