Poem for Georgia O’Keeffe

The ripples of a life:
Your black iris hangs
In my study–
(the walls are grey and
you would approve);
How could you know the beauty
You would bring into our lives
You, who painted flowers
big to make us see–
Intensity of color to
Mirror intensity of soul,
And, having found
Expression, tranquillity of

You couldn’t have known, not truly.
You were simply working hard,
Faithful to what you saw.

You painted your way
And your passing grieves me.

Published in HARD ROW TO HOE, Reviews From Rural America (Winter 1994, Vol III).

The print referred to is from a showing of O’Keeffe’s work at The Madison Art Center:  Paintings 1919 – 1977.
March 3 –  April 29, 1984. 

2 thoughts on “Poem for Georgia O’Keeffe

  1. I went to an exhitit of O Keefe’s work at The Art Institue of Chicago back in the 1980’s. She painted vibrantly and forcefully. I have also been to the museum bearing her name in Sante Fe, NM. Her paintings glow with the celebration of God’s creation whether that was her intention or not.


    1. Thank you…I have not been to Sante Fe but your comment inspires me to look again at her paintings from there. I would also like to read her letters. As you probably know, she was born in Wisconsin.


Comments are closed.