On their last day of class, I asked my students to choose a painting from a large collection of reproductions that I brought to class. Then they were charged with the task of writing a haiku about the painting of their choice. I was very pleased with the results. Most of the students took their poetry with them, but here are three who shared their work with me.

Michael McAndrew chose Rouen Port Unloading Wood by Camille Pissaro (1898).  Here is the painting:

Image result for rouen port unloading wood

Here is his haiku:

Cold steel in cold sea

Men rise early in morning

Labor for fam’ly


Kyler Luckey chose La Place Valhubert by Armand Guillaumin (1875):

Image result for la place valhubert

Here is Kyler’s two-verse haiku:

Cold air and warm hearts

Hand in hand down the river

Boats pass like moments.


Time is fleeting by 

Like a small flame flickering

Cold air bites our hands.


Finally, Adam Cowart chose the painting Napoleon Leading His Troops Over the Bridge at Arcole, by Horace Vernet (1826).

Image result for napoleon leading his troops over the bridge at arcole

And here is Adam’s haiku:

As the soldiers fought

“What is this all for?” they thought

Nor war, but for peace.


Our Fine Arts textbook talks about ways in which the various arts can interrelate with one another. This would be an example of interpretation, where one art form already exists and then another artist draws upon that work for inspiration in creating something new, usually using different media.  I really appreciate these three students who were willing to share their work with me — and now, with you, too.

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