“Xanthopsia” by Maxine Kumin (The New Yorker, July 1, 2013)

In honor of The Daily Post Photo Challenge theme this week — YELLOW — an excerpt from Maxine Kumin’s poem “Xanthopsia” in the July 1, 2013 New Yorker (If you haven’t figured it out by now, yes self does tend to hang on to everything)

It wasn’t absinthe or digitalis
in the Yellow House the two of them shared
that led him to layer the chrome coronas
or yellow the sheets in the bedroom in Arles
or tinge the towel negligently hung
on the hook by the door, or yellow the window,
be it distant view or curtain, yolk-lick
the paintings on the wall by the monkish bed.
No, it wasn’t sunstroke or the bright light
of southern France that yellowed the café terrace
at the Place du Forum, a pigment
intensified by the little white tables, the white stars
in a blue sky, the deep-saffron floor, it wasn’t
some chemical or physical insult that stained
the vase with twelve sunflowers a urinous
yellow, the water in the vase yellow,
also the table under the vase — such
a troubled life of yellow leading up
to Vincent’s hurled wineglass arousing
Gauguin’s rapier to sever his best friend’s left ear

Kumin, a former U.S. Laureate, has written 18 books of poetry.

Stay tuned.

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