Don’t mow the meadow

Just now I have two new studies like this: you already have a drawing like of one of them, of a farm by the high road among cornfields.

A meadow full of very yellow buttercups, a ditch with iris plants with green leaves and purple blooms, the town in the background, a few gray willows – a strip of blue sky.

If they don’t mow the meadow I’d like to do this study again, for the subject was very beautiful, and I had some trouble finding the composition. A little town surrounded by countryside completely blooming with yellow and purple flowers; you know, it is a beautiful Japanese dream.

Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (12 May 1888)


like this:
you already have
a farm, a meadow,
very yellow.

ditch green leaves
and purple blooms,
strip blue sky.
don’t mow the meadow:

I’d like to do this again.
trouble the town,
surround countryside
with yellow:



Van Gogh’s Field with Flowers Near Arles, the result of the studies referred to in van Gogh’s letter.


  1. You woke me up to found poetry. I like this very much. Also, to a painting I’d not seen before. I like very much Vincent wanting to once more paint this field.

  2. Thank you, Al. My mother is in town, and she remembered you from Bethany’s graduation party, commenting that you learned something from her about a book you had the class read. That impressed my mom very much.

  3. Yep. Stephanie analyzed in the short story “The Laughing Man” by Salinger when the gear shift comes off in the protagonist’s hand it indicated he was having trouble navigating the changes in his life. She was right on and I never made the connection she had. For Stephanie, of course, it solidified her joy for deep reading which she had already arrived in class with. Tell Mom hello for me!

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