Contours of Love Poetry Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday]: Art Class

It was this art lesson, my play with charcoal and our current theme that inspired this poem.

poetry friday

Iphigene here.

One of the things I wanted to accomplish this year was to learn art. I have taken art classes as a kid, but never really formally learned the craft. Since I returned to art in 2014, I have been painting often and I have reached a point of frustration in my art. The frustration stems from my inability to execute what is in my mind exactly the way I want it. I recognize this had to do with the limits of my technique. Since this month, I began a one-on-one monthly art class. The first lesson was Still Life in Charcoal. The focus was tonal values. I had never worked with Charcoal and when I did, what a revelation it was. I still have two charcoal assignments to finish before my next lesson in March.

It was this art lesson, my play with charcoal and our current theme that inspired this poem. Over the years, my fascination for the process of visual art finds its ways in my poetry. This one is no exception. I hope you enjoy it. For more poetry this Friday, head out to Elizabeth Steinglass.


Art Class

If asked,

“what do you want

To create”

I would say

“I do not know”


Though my hands know

It would draw the heaviest

Of lines from the crevices

Of you, pushing shades

Into circles with my fingers

Until the roundness of your

Thighs and legs

Meet in the shadows

Of your knees


If asked,

“what do you


I would say



Though I  see

Hazel and gold

With dots of titanium

White where the light

Shines beneath the

Shadow of navy

Hair on soft subtle

Skin that glows

Come to life on  stretched

Primed canvas


If asked

“What inspires


I would say



Though my dreams

Know the lines at the back

Of your hand, the way

Your fingers rough

Callousness mix

In pinks, greens and blues

Of soft pastel

Dancing in grey tinted



If they asked me

“what is art?”

I would say



14 comments on “[Poetry Friday]: Art Class

  1. That’s beautiful, Iphigene. The sentiment reminds me of Pablo Neruda’s love poems.


  2. Liz Steinglass

    How beautiful. I think you’ve written a valentine. Your visual art is clearly a wonderful inspiration for your poetry. Thank you for sharing this.


  3. Alice Nine

    I have wished I had more time to explore the visual arts. I’ve never tried charcoal… maybe I should! Your words resonate with me: “… my fascination for the process of visual art finds its ways in my poetry.” Just simple pencil sketching makes me look with new eyes, to pay attention to detail and that, of course, impacts my writing. Thank you for your encouraging post.


    • It’s an interesting medium. I can’t say whether charcoal is easy or hard, but there’s something versatile and rich about it. I’m glad that this bit of poetry and sharing was able to encourage you.


  4. I am happy for you that you are learning more of what you want in art, Iphigene. The charcoal is gorgoeous, achieving that ‘shine’ seems masterful to me. And the poem, the loving voice speaking, beautiful, too. Both indeed are poetry!


  5. Kay Mcgriff

    That poem is beautiful. I’m impressed with the charcoal picture as well–and the way the two art forms inform your creativity.


  6. I love the flow of this poem. I do wish I could create art like this! The charcoal drawing is a perfect pairing with this poem.


  7. Wonderful ending to that color-filled poem.


  8. Beautiful poem and image Iphigene, they work well together, both being quiet pieces, thanks for sharing them. Keep going with your art!


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