Renoir at Les Collettes: A New Poem by Byron Beynon

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The cicadas already
conduct the sound of the day.
Early conversation in a garden
with olive trees and a view
towards the Mediterranean.

The optimism you had –
being an old man
with crippling arthritis –
for life, health,
the beauty and vigour it could afford.

Inside the house your studio
with armchair, easel,
brushes and frames,
the quiet edges of the room.

The hushed strokes of passing
time, the depth of eye
as figures walk by
flooded in red-golden light,
the sensuality touching
a disclosure of heat.

Bio: Byron Beynon lives in Swansea. His work has appeared in several publications including Kentucky Review, Planet, The Independent, Poetry Wales, The Blue Moon Literary and Art Review (California) and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets).  He has given talks about “Poetry and the Mirror of Art”, how paintings have been used to inspire writers. Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press), Human Shores (Lapwing Publications, Belfast) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

Image: ‘The Farm at Les Collettes’, by Auguste Renoir. Date: 1908-1914. Oil on canvas. Property of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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