Thursday, September 22, 2011


Painting Title: Self Portrait with Cloak 1901
Pablo Picasso: Early/Blue Period Paintings
Famous Spanish artist - 20th Century Painter

About the Self Portrait Painting
Pablo Picasso painted this Self Portrait with Cloak painting during his famous blue period series. Like many of his other paintings from this period, this self portrait uses all blue tones and is very melancholy in nature.

The young artist presents himself as the struggling painter, unshaven, somber, mysterious, while still remaining confident.

If you are feeling a bit blue and need to get your mind off of your troubles you might enjoy fiddling around with this online Picasso drawing program, called picassohead.

I have had some fun with it lately. This is my self-portrait.


 Self-Portrait by Linda Pastan
       (After Adam Zagajewski)

I am child to no one, mother to a few,
wife for the long haul.
On fall days I am happy
with my dying brethren, the leaves,
but in spring my head aches
from the flowery scents.
My husband fills a room with Mozart
which I turn off, embracing
the silence as if it were an empty page
waiting for me alone to fill it.
He digs in the black earth
with his bare hands. I scrub it
from the creases of his skin, longing
for the kind of perfection
that happens in books.
My house is my only heaven.
A red dog sleeps at my feet, dreaming
of the manic wings of flushed birds.
As the road shortens ahead of me
I look over my shoulder
to where it curves back
to childhood, its white line
bisecting the real and the imagined
the way the ridgepole of the spine
divides the two parts of the body, leaving
the soft belly in the center
vulnerable to anything.
As for my country, it blunders along
as well intentioned as Eve choosing
cider and windfalls, oblivious
to the famine soon to come.
I stir pots, bury my face in books, or hold
a telephone to my ear as if its cord
were the umbilicus of the world
whose voices still whisper to me
even after they have left their bodies.



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

when i have a blue period i usually turn to BB King :)

Like your self portrait

twinkly sparkles said...

What a fantastic poem. Right my my alley. I feel so ignorant of so many poets. I had never heard of her before.

ds said...

Love Linda Pastan--thanks for sharing this poem.
Great self-portrait.

Rob-bear said...

Love the poem. I could feel the events as they unfolded.
Perhaps I should look into the on-line drawing bit. I can't draw worthy anything, but I can paint with words (on a good day).

Roxana said...

oh but that is a very good self-portrait, do you paint or draw too? but why not accompany it with a self-portrait poem by you? (not that i don't like the one by Linda Pastan, but i would LOVE to see how you go about writing your self-portrait :-)

Lydia said...

Pixies~ BB for the blues...well, absolutely. For a few years I would play Leonard Cohen's cd Ten New Songs when I was feeling blue. Haven't tried that lately...

twinkly sparkles~ I am all about being honest, so I must tell you to not feel badly about not knowing this poet. I did not either until reading this poem! Can't wait to learn more about her because this poem is perfect.

ds~ You already knew of Linda Pastan and I am envious that you have read more of her work...but I intend to catch up!
Will you do a picassohead of your own?

Rob-bear~ I felt the poem in the way you described. She really pegged important but everyday things here.
Please do a picassohead of Bear! I cannot draw at all, and the program is so much fun to work with.

Roxana~ It was kind of a shock to see how I interpret myself these days; I think I need a visit to the hairdresser! Glad you liked it, though. No, I do not draw or paint (I painted one still life of fruit when I was a teen that turned out pleasing enough that I hung it on my bedroom wall...I have no idea what ever happened to it). This picassohead program offers enough selections to make something of your own, and my brain was actually sparking there for a little while! Last night I returned and made a sad ghost.
Now, as for a self-portrait poem, would you believe that it never even entered my mind?! I found so much of myself in Linda Pastan's poem that it felt complete, until I read your comment. Now you have me thinking about this. I will let the thought bubble! Have you written a self-portrait poem? Will you be playing with picassohead?



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