Today I attended a writing workshop, Writing Salon, at the National Gallery of Art, #NGAWritingSalon. The subject, The Multilayered Narrative, focused on Jan Steen’s painting, Dancing Couple (picture below).
We responded to these three prompts:
1) capture the story of the couple from the point of view of a character in the painting (I chose the viola player);
2) tell the story from the perspective of two characters in conversation (I chose the man and woman standing on the far left); and
3) symbolism in Steen’s art (I focused in my poem on the child blowing bubbles, the empty barrel, and the viola player).
And here is the poem in draft:
Let the good times roll
a soft breeze floats in tune with the music
of the viola and flute. The dancers,
the couples are so happy and carefree –
there is food and drink enough to sustain
them all. But how long will the music last?
Caged birds look sadder than the musicians
who continue to sing. The music plays on,
but the bubbles being blown may soon burst.
When the minstrels stop & the food runs out
and the candles burn down to a flicker,
will the music die softly in the breeze?
Pay the musicians! All drinks on the house!
Will the barrels stay empty or be still?