Poetry Forum Areas

Introduce Yourself

New to PoetrySoup? Introduce yourself here. Tell us something about yourself.

Looking for a Poem

Can't find a poem you've read before? Looking for a poem for a special person or an occasion? Ask other member for help.

Writing Poetry

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.

High Critique

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!

How do I...?

Ask PoetrySoup Members how to do something or find something on PoetrySoup.

You have an ad blocker! We understand, but...

PoetrySoup is a small privately owned website. Our means of support comes from advertising revenue. We want to keep PoetrySoup alive, make it better, and keep it free. Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on PoetrySoup. See how to enable ads while keeping your ad blocker active. Also, did you know you can become a PoetrySoup Lifetime Premium Member and block ads forever...while getting many more great features. Take a look! Thank you!
Get Your Premium Membership

Study In Orange And White

by
 I knew that James Whistler was part of the Paris scene,
but I was still surprised when I found the painting
of his mother at the Musée d'Orsay
among all the colored dots and mobile brushstrokes
of the French Impressionists.
And I was surprised to notice after a few minutes of benign staring, how that woman, stark in profile and fixed forever in her chair, began to resemble my own ancient mother who was now fixed forever in the stars, the air, the earth.
You can understand why he titled the painting "Arrangement in Gray and Black" instead of what everyone naturally calls it, but afterward, as I walked along the river bank, I imagined how it might have broken the woman's heart to be demoted from mother to a mere composition, a study in colorlessness.
As the summer couples leaned into each other along the quay and the wide, low-slung boats full of spectators slid up and down the Seine between the carved stone bridges and their watery reflections, I thought: how ridiculous, how off-base.
It would be like Botticelli calling "The Birth of Venus" "Composition in Blue, Ochre, Green, and Pink," or the other way around like Rothko titling one of his sandwiches of color "Fishing Boats Leaving Falmouth Harbor at Dawn.
" Or, as I scanned the menu at the cafe where I now had come to rest, it would be like painting something laughable, like a chef turning on a spit over a blazing fire in front of an audience of ducks and calling it "Study in Orange and White.
" But by that time, a waiter had appeared with my glass of Pernod and a clear pitcher of water, and I sat there thinking of nothing but the women and men passing by-- mothers and sons walking their small fragile dogs-- and about myself, a kind of composition in blue and khaki, and, now that I had poured some water into the glass, milky-green.

Poem by
Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - Study In Orange And WhiteEmail Poem | Create an image from this poem

Poems are below...


Top Billy Collins Poems

Analysis and Comments on Study In Orange And White

Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem Study In Orange And White here.