“The heaventree of stars” (in Ulysses as said Joyce)
“hung with humid nightblue fruit” (ah that Bloomian voice)
could evoke a masterpiece the world has come to know,
The Starry Night, so treasured now, by Vincent van Gogh…
In Vincent’s time that painting left even him bemused,
since a ‘failure’ he proclaimed it— that’s the term he used.
He thought he’d reached for stars too big, at too great a height,
but had gone astray; thus he fell short in his own sight.
When he died, no golden eulogistic bells were rung.
His grand galactic genius went utterly unsung.
Oh ill-starred Vincent lunatic asylumed costly fraught distraught instead of bought untold unsold back then yet now extolled far-famed with pricey precious adoration legacied in legend lionized er ionized and glorified chronologized hymned lauded honored canonized enskied aye aye exalted to the skies near-sainted hallowed round the clock as fickle ironies of fate can mock…
Yes, van Gogh was so star-crossed in so many senses.
Gazing at the skies he saw whithers, whys, and whences…
Comparing stars to dotted map led him to ponder
that as one takes a train to destinations yonder
here on earth, perhaps we would ‘take death to reach a star’
or afterlife dimension in hemisphere afar.
The Whirlpool Galaxy his imagination fired
with spiral arms of lanes of stars that indeed inspired
and starburst regions interspersed with dust, in display
of luminescent light not unlike the Milky Way
if it were to overturn and shower forth its jars
in a madly whirling swirling twirling stream of stars.
Anyhow in one way Vincent’s vision was dead right.
Long lives his stellar afterlife in The Starry Night!
To end these astro-reveries with celestial quote
on brighter note, “Hope is in the stars,” the artist wrote.
Van Gogh could see eternity in the heavens’ dome,
in the cycling cosmic courses— there his dreams found home.