Issue 128, Fall 1993
A Brief History of Landscape Painting in France
Take Antoine Guillemet instead.
When he was following that dirty gang
I thought we lost him. Blinding poppies,
Far too many of them — even
Daubigny encourages this man
Who says he learned the ruse from me.
Rebellion, mixing paint with knives.
By ’95 those days were gone.
New confidence, a new repose:
Soon I was born a little past
The celebrations on the Champ de Mars.
Now who can recognize himself?
Knowledge of depth, great atmospheres—
They frighten me; at Argenteuil
The chimneys glisten in the Seine
Like rows of poplars. Recently
I understood your Delacroix
And you insist this Monet looks
Toward me? —then step outside.
It’s logical to start with the sky.
Look up: how many different ways
Can two hands animate a cloud?
At twenty-five I never craned
My neck but understood them all.
In Italy, where every site
Recalls and every monument
Awakes a memory, the rumor is