Friday, February 24, 2012

Poetry Friday: Strawberries, Still Life, Renoir, A Yellow Bowl

Strawberries - 1905
Fruits of the Midi - 1881

Tomorrow, February 25th, marks the day Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born. I turned to Renoir in my thinking about the seasons for the last two weeks  - I find myself in need of a little sunshine, a little color to get me through the final month of Seattle's winter. When he wasn't painting lovely people dappled with light at luncheon parties, Renoir painted beautiful still lifes, and I offer up two of them this week as sustenance for anyone who wants to taste the summer colors of these paintings. They're about as far from a gray sky as you can get. To add to the feast, here is a lovely poem that shines yellow - it's by a poet new to me, Rachel Contreni Flynn (follow that link to read a little bit about her):

Yellow Bowl  
by Rachel Contreni Flynn

If light pours like water
into the kitchen where I sway
with my tired children,

if the rug beneath us
is woven with tough flowers,
and the yellow bowl on the table

rests with the sweet heft 
of fruit, the sun-warmed plums, 
if my body curves over the babies, 

and if I am singing,
then loneliness has lost its shape,
and this quiet is only quiet.

Renoir painting in his garden - paintbrush is tied to his arthritic hand.
The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted today by Jone over at Check It Out. Head over there to - what else? - check it out!


  1. I love that black and white image of Renoir, the mere mention of strawberries made my mouth water. Great choice for a poem, Julie. :) It's also my first time to hear about Rachel Flynn - these are my favorite liens:

    if I am singing,
    then loneliness has lost its shape,
    and this quiet is only quiet

  2. I've always loved Renoir. Thanks for sharing these beautiful paintings and the yellow bowl poem. Simply lovely. :) I feel quite renewed . . .

  3. and if I am singing,
    then loneliness has lost its shape,
    and this quiet is only quiet.

    Wow! Nice choice for today, which is also gray in NH!

  4. I'm a little late tonight commenting Julie. Thank you for stopping by my post today. I guess the snow didn't add much color for you. Even in this small venue, Renoir shows through so beautifully, doesn't he? I love the two pictures you chose, but I rather like the midi fruits best. And the poem, "light pouring like water"
    so beautiful to think about. We do have much sun in Denver, although we also have the snow, but we appreciate the sun very much. Thanks for the beauty in your post.

  5. Thank you for this brightness on a completely white day here in Holland, NY...I want to touch the paint of Renoir's fruits The light and swaying and yellow and quiet were a perfect way to begin this morning.

  6. I love the idea of loneliness losing its shape. I love thinking about all the shapes loneliness can inhabit. Thanks for sharing.