Layers of Paint

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Day 13-“13 Is Poetry”
(Posted by Magaly)

“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.”
~ Diane Setterfield

“I began this prompt with a quote from The Thirteenth Tale because on the 13th day of our 30/30 in April, I wish to celebrate the number 13 and metaphor (as a poetic device).”

The guidelines:
– choose 3 to 13 (nonconsecutive) words out of Setterfield’s quote
– use them in a poem that is a deliberate celebration of metaphor

Here are the words I have chosen:  disappear, dreadful, alter, magic, rediscover

He altered the painting, thinking
it could be improved. Dreadful
how the original disappeared,
unseen under layers of thick,
sculpted paint.

A new artist labored to remove
the multitude of multi-colored
coats. Patient and meticulous,
he scraped, rubbed and dabbed
until soft light emerged.
As if by magic, the original
was unearthed and rediscovered
for its true beauty.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to Layers of Paint

  1. Sherry says:

    Beautiful, the restoration of original beauty.


  2. Ah, redemption and perhaps the ability to forgive ourselves. True beauty – beauty within. Virtue wins over vice. So many awesome ways to go with this poem. Good use of metaphor!


  3. kanzensakura says:

    Excellent use of metaphor. I like it a lot. Redemption, forgiveness…all of it.


  4. Jim says:

    When we’re down and ready to quit, seek help. Like it, Sara


  5. sanaarizvi says:

    Such wonderful use of metaphor here, Sara!💞


  6. Rommy says:

    I wonder if the one who did the first set of alterations was the original artist. It’s sad if they were because they couldn’t see the beauty in their original.


  7. annell4 says:

    It happens. I loved what you wrote and enjoyed reading.


  8. Such a contrast! After the efforts of the first, the second artist would be much needed. (Therapist, friend, lover, God? Perhaps that is less important than the fact of the restoration.)


  9. Vivian Zems says:

    True beauty is often buried beneath layers of ‘stuff’. A cool write!


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