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The Treachery of Images

Roy Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden - LIFETIME Premium Member Roy Jerden - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Treachery of Images which was written by poet Roy Jerden. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Treachery of Images

I stopped to see a painting by an artist named Rene
A beautiful tobacco pipe on a field of tannish gray
A rather quirky caption below the pipe of brownish wood
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe", it read... Had I misunderstood?

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" in French means "This is not a pipe" 
It sure looked like Daddy's briar to me, and of the usual type
There must be a hidden meaning, that clods like me don't get
Perhaps if I would cross my eyes, I'd see a cigarette

I moved up close, I crossed my eyes, then backed across the way
I looked for occult images,  but much to my dismay
It still appeared to be a pipe to me... How could I be misled?
Then a kindly docent smiled at me and this is what he said:

"Sometimes artists fool your eye and sometimes fool your mind
Our brains are tooled for symbols, the way that we're designed."
He pulled out a pipe and said: "Magritte just had his fun.
This one here's an actual pipe, and that's a painting of one."

March 11, 2013

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  1. Date: 4/3/2013 4:30:00 PM
    Excellent write and I think I would have been as bamboozled as you. Sometimes these riddles are so simple that it shows us up as being too literal. Thanks for your welcome to me. So are we going to add the Glosa to Forms? I have the description in my files somewhere safely tucked away.... luv, Suz

    Delaney Avatar Suzanne Delaney
    Date: 4/3/2013 11:15:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    OK Roy: I'll look into it. and let you know. SuZ
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden
    Date: 4/3/2013 4:58:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Suzanne, I'm kind of a newbie, too, both to the Soup and poetry itself, so I don't know the answer. Maybe Poet Destroyer can help.
  1. Date: 3/31/2013 4:35:00 PM
    oh, and the picture is not what I expected. I was thinking it would be some kind of surreal painting with the pipe image hidden in a corner or something!!

  1. Date: 3/31/2013 4:34:00 PM
    hahaha, this is so fun!!! I love the humor you gave this.

  1. Date: 3/30/2013 9:51:00 AM
    This is really awesome, Roy! A pleasure to read. And I see it won a contest? Congrats! :)

  1. Date: 3/30/2013 8:51:00 AM
    Very good, and not an unusual reaction. I especially liked the docent's explanation. "It's all in the eye-mind of the observer. Jack

  1. Date: 3/25/2013 5:21:00 PM
    A very enjoyable read !!! I like the humor !! Well deserved win !! Congratulations.... !!!!!!

  1. Date: 3/23/2013 12:25:00 PM
    A nice winning poem Roy, congratulations with your awesome and wonderful poem. Always~ Linda

  1. Date: 3/23/2013 9:11:00 AM
    Congrats on your top win Roy. Great poem!

  1. Date: 3/23/2013 8:45:00 AM
    Roy, superb take on this and love how you told this almost like a parable! Well deserved placement!

  1. Date: 3/22/2013 7:54:00 PM
    Congratulations on your top win in Deborah's Contest, Roy!! Ruben.

  1. Date: 3/22/2013 7:02:00 PM
    Roy, this is a wonderful poem. It put a smile on my face because I'm an artist, a painter and can understand the message of Rene. Congratulations on your fine win. Well deserved. Warm Smiles, Connie

  1. Date: 3/22/2013 6:51:00 PM
    I so enjoyed the mix of language and the playfullness and that you would enjoy this whether or not you had seen the art. Congrad's on your win. Light & Love

  1. Date: 3/15/2013 12:53:00 PM
    I like your poem.

  1. Date: 3/15/2013 2:44:00 AM
    Roy even without the painting this is very visual, I like it and the artist himself...David

  1. Date: 3/14/2013 9:53:00 AM
    Ha! This one is funny. I think I have seen that painting before, but did not get the joke because I do not read French. I like your reaction to everything here.

    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden
    Date: 3/14/2013 1:10:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Isaiah!
    Zerbst Avatar Isaiah Zerbst
    Date: 3/14/2013 9:53:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I like the poem too. You did a great job of writing it.
  1. Date: 3/11/2013 6:16:00 PM
    Very cool Roy...as usual...

    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden
    Date: 3/11/2013 8:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Donna. I guess I was getting bored and looking for subject matter to write about.