In fact, the poems “Self-Portrait Monet” and “Late Self-Portrait Rembrandt” pay lyrical homage to artists’ work and biographies, the remembering of love, seeing their wives die and trying to catch their lost images on canvas. Gehrke as a poet tries to explain the thoughts of an old man reflecting on his life. G...
... middle of paper ...
...he flowers of his sight,/ going blind, he imagined,/ was a way to feel her/ leaving him again” (“Self-Portrait Monet”). This indicates that painting was so closely associated with the passion for his wife, that when the cataracts lead to blindness he saw his wife leaving once more. Then Rembrandt cannot even bring himself to paint saying, “When she died,/he could not see, for days, through the dusting/ of his grief, until he revived a painting/he had made of her” (“Late Self-Portrait Rembrandt”). Gehrke extends the themes of grief, death and love throughout the collection. The canvas of a page and the ones the artists paint upon transmute creativity, providing compelling insight into the lives of Gehrke as a poet and the biographical influences and crises of the artists.
Gehrke, Steve. Michelangelo’s Seizure. University of Illinois Press, 2007. Print.
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