Sunday, 8 June 2014

Monet's 'Water Lilies', Musée d'Orangerie.

The room is hushed.
People sit or stand as they stare,
Awed into silence.
Encircling the cylindrical room
Are four huge canvasses,
Without horizon or foreground,
A mastery of colour, paint and brush.
What do they see?
Is it water or sky, clouds floating
In a wonder of blue and lilac,
The surreal float of water lilies,
Shimmering splashes of green, pink and yellow,
Slender green-leafed pendant branches
Of exquisite gracefulness,
Moments cloudy, hazy, sun-sparkled in a way beyond beauty
Or rippled by momentary touch of passing breeze?

Or do they see the master at his work,
Sublime, magical, mystical,
Representing the great beauty of the world,
Seeing it as transcending time,
As more than a collection of concrete images,
Without beginning and without end,
Ever-changing but forever there,
And taking this sense of timeless beauty,
Transferring it through his mastery
So that all we lesser humans
Can momentarily glimpse in the small things-
     The shimmering play of colour from light,
     The changing dance of water and wind,
     The float of colour upon the blueness-
What is eternally there,
If only we had the eyes to see.

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