Inspired by Artist’s Drawings, Poet Gives Voice to Vincent Van Gogh’s Personal Torment and Artistic Struggle in VAN GOGH IN POEMS

Boston poet, memoirist and teacher Carol Dine releases new collection of poetry with reproduced images of the master’s drawings culled from major international museums.

Dine’s latest poetry collection VAN GOGH IN POEMS (ISBN 978-0-9786335-2-3; 103 pages; Bitter Oleander Press, 2009) cultivated during three journeys to the archives of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam between 2001 and 2005, and hours spent pouring over Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo. “I found the letters filled with contradictions for what they said about the artist, and what they didn’t say,” Dine writes in the collection’s introduction, Unexpected Muse. “They reveal Van Gogh as an astute observer of nature, as a critic of his own art, as a man with a tattered soul.”

Each poem in VAN GOGH IN POEMS is named for the Van Gogh drawing or painting that inspired it, and each is written in Van Gogh’s voice. Broken into five thematic sections – FAMILY, RELIGION, LOVE, DESCENT and NATURE – the book includes 18 reproductions of the drawings (three in color or sepia tones) from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

More, Dine brings readers a holistic experience by interspersing fragments from Van Gogh’s letters with lines of her poems. “It was his own letters that led me to his voice,” Dine says. “I heard Vincent speak through his words to his brother, and I took a leap of faith -- that I could speak for him, or, in a sense, with him.”