Free Verse about Art

Madame Matisses Hat

by Sally Hewitt



He didn’t like Madame Matisse’s Hat

pointed his Picasso nose in the air,


and made the hand gesture for time-out,

thus I had to break my concentration,

my absorption in form and vibrant colors,

and trudge out of the museum with him.



By then I was adept at multitasking

and asked him what was the bother

about the painting while trying to draw

its outline in my mind. He simply shrugged

his Modigliani shoulders, shuddering

at the thought of what he called the

green painting with lopsided hat.



Finally, he said, “People don’t have green

faces.” Dumbfounded, until I remembered

this is a man who sees chemical equations

as art, lines his toothpicks in a tidy row,

and whose face appears green right this

very minute: blue-green with tints of pink,

orange, yellow, maroon, teal, and lavender.



How can he be blind to the rainbow of colors

in our everyday lives? He’d ask me why I am

blind to chemical and atomic reactions

in our daily lives, and he’d have a point. So, I

leave him on the bench, a Rodin subject

contemplating physics,

and return to my absolute absorption of beauty:

the juxtaposition of glorious colors and the

uncomplicated forms of Matisse’s

Femme au chapeau.



Published in The Rockford Review, Winter-Spring 2017

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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6 Responses to Free Verse about Art

  1. MaryJo says:


  2. Paul Beech says:

    Fabulously colourful, a free-verse take on the art/science divide set against the French avant-garde scene of the early 20th century… love it!

  3. Maureen Weldon says:

    I liked this poem, and came back to read it again.

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