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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand


Promenade

based on a painting by Chagall

To Chagall’s “Promenade.” A Night-time visit. We note how the open brushstrokes deftly fix the opposing forces of man and wife. The docent gestures us towards the background in which the humble couple sail. She sweeps us to a further room, hung with gilt-framed portraits: a stock of wives, mistresses and young women recalling their owner’s gaze no more. The finest portraits are of the artists themselves: Velázquez, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, showing off their matchless skills. A beautiful balance between mystery and disclosure, bravery and tact. What underpins the whole collection is not a commonplace "accessibility," but the dignified restraint, so unlike the Chagall with its joie de vivre and its balanced and controlled vision of Bella poised on the fingertips of her husband.

the couple have walked
across the meadow
in front of the town,
with its vista of box-like
houses and domed church

their figures
against the blue sky
the picnic wine
stands ready
on the patterned cloth

held aloft
on the fingers of Chagall
Bella
in jubilation
a flag in the wind

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