Spotlight Art and Poetry – Starry Night – A Painting by Vincent Van Gogh – The Starry Night – A Poem by Anne Sexton

Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks.


Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.

Vincent Van Gogh (in a letter to his brother)

The Starry Night by Anne Sexton

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.   
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons   
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.   
Oh starry starry night! This is how   
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,   
sucked up by that great dragon, to split   
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry.

Haiku by Goff James

Starlight hangs moon bright
Village dark robed silent sleeps
A lone cypress dreams

Painting Attribution © Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889

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Poem Attribution © Anne Sexton, The Starry Night

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Haiku Attribution © Goff James, Starlight Hangs Moon Bright

Copyright (c) 2023 Goff James – All Rights Reserved 

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