Sonnet XXV

Julie Carter's Painted Wall by Jessica Witting

Sonnet XXV

All Painters Agitate Reality

All painters agitate reality.
They impose particular significance,
causing essential virtuality
to be depicted with magnificence.
Using old technique, but new conventions,
an abstraction deviates from the norm.
A dabbling flirt with the three dimensions
can fashion the way the painters perform.
Their sensations become speculations ―
creating contours with fine brush strokes, a
profound intellectualization,
and extravagant chromatic soufflé.
Revealing sacred contours of their soul
would not have been the painters’ firsthand goal.


@jflamingo2 is a twitter friend of mine. One morning, she asked me to write her a painting poem.

I wasn’t sure what she meant, so I read some of her blogs and saw that she painted sets in her hometown theater. I assumed this was arduous work and she required some motivation.

I originally wrote a villanelle. I set out by doing some cursory research on painters and painting. I needed some ideas, so I just read quotes by a few abstract painters, for example, Picasso.

When I was finished, I sent it to her, and then set off to use the research to write a sonnet. This is the result.

I was quite flattered to have someone “commission” a poem from me. So flattered, that Julie ended up with two poems. When I started this blog, I asked  her for a picture. She gave me some samples, but noted that there were a few on her facebook page. I chose this picture. I hope Julie does not mind, but, for more about Julie, see her facebook page.

Posted on:

Open Link Night ~ Week 23

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on May 3, 2011, in Poetry, Sonnets. Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. First of all, Tammy, I’m so lucky to have received your poems for they did inspire me so much. I had been so impressed with your poetic tweets up to this point that I knew you could and that you just might write me a poem to help me finish this project. Poetry always gives me motivation and I needed to get this done quickly. This stone wall mural took me 17.5 hrs to paint in a period of 3 days. I also painted a tree trunk and few other touch-ups on the set so it added a few more hours to that. It is a little known fact about me, up to now, that I’m a painter as I have always been quiet about it for some reason. I’m glad that this worked out so well and that Jessica, who took this photo, gave me this oppportunity. She hadn’t seen my work and plainly trusted that I could do it. All of this, coupled with your poem, encouraged me to rise to the challenge! It was a great experience with nice friendships coming out of this project. I humbly thank you for posting this. Nicely done!

  2. The rhyme is really lovely. Your poem paints a nice picture. Cool!

  3. I am very new to the world of expression with words, in my mind of chaos it provided warmth each word a brush stroke each concept a splash of color.
    Thank you

  4. I paint with evocations
    Of image
    And feeling
    Of magnetic word strips
    Lay on my palette
    I pick them up
    With the metallic nib
    Of my pen
    And flick them
    At the refrigerator
    Of someone’s mind
    Some stick
    And some don’t
    The recipient
    Puts together
    With meaning
    I do not know
    The secret
    Of these dynamics
    Except that they work.

  5. So much imagery. I love, “a dabbling flirt…”

  6. I really enjoyed this piece, especially the line that painters agitate their reality. Well said.

  7. My brother is a painter and I am ever attempting to give voice to what he does– you do this beautifully– I very much like your directness and the fluency/smoothness of your language. xxj i’m at

  8. this is really took the poem painting to heart and really stroked that brush well in creating this picture…i am sure your friend was fascinated….and pleased…

    • Brian~ I just wanted to assure you that I am “fascinated…and pleased…” with Zongrik’s sonnet about painting. I truly know that I couldn’t have finished this difficult assignment without it. I love her sonnet, her ability to write them so well and love rereading it often. It’s a beautiful masterpiece of words. 🙂

  9. I didn’t see your villanelle, but the sonnet flows with a great rythm, which I caught in the first four lines…. really nice….

  10. great poem… really is an EXCELLENT painting of words!

  11. think every painting and every poem…everything an artist ever does reveals parts of the artist’s soul.. and that’s what i find so exciting…loved the…chromatic soufflé…

  12. but of course that’s their goal…!!!
    ‘creating contours with fine brush strokes, a
    profound intellectualization,’
    great piece

  13. Beautiful, some words paint pictures, sond some pictures paint words.
    What a wonderful thing for you to happen too. Congratulations!

  14. That should’ve been *and some… not sond (tut tut at typos) LOL

  15. Awesome piece, loved it. And the backstory was great to read, as I think we learn a lot about each other and our work when giving a glimpse of the process, I really liked this a lot, and some times I include a bit of backstory to my work, so it was very nice to see. Thanks for the read.

  16. your imagery so vivid, as if painted with a brush…perfection

  17. Gorgeous piece – it is just all point, line and plane – painters really are master illusionists

  18. I like the form, and inspirational words of painting “Revealing sacred contours of their soul”.

    Very nice ~

  19. Truly added a whole new depth painting an image of your own, and of course the rhyme I liked too, but that you knew.

  20. The revealing our of souls that happens when we create is magical even if not the goal. Nicely done!

  21. How wonderful that you were able to inspire one another. That is fantastic, and I love the way you wrote about the painter’s need to create and the part about the revealing of the soul. Great lines here.

  22. A sonnet for painting is a perfect match. Funny that you should touch on this b/c we have been painting our house. My arms are so sore!

  23. This is a excellent painting of words your poems are so inspiring and so well penned love the flow and enjoy them so much I am so glad I found your site to read these excellent penned poems on

  24. Very nice poem painting the artist and the art. Painters do draw emphasis as poets and writers do with their work, always a new angle or way of looking at things and see something differently through their work. I like how you put it — “agitate reality” as they do change how one looks at a thing they happen to make their subject. Good choice of words – every line reads very well. 🙂 Like it very much.

  25. Loved your verbal equivalent of that ‘extravagant chromatic souffle’ I admire those who paint very much–it’s always like a poetry that doesn’t need words to me.

  26. First of all, bravo to anyone who writes a sonnett! But what I love most about this is how you enter the soul of a painter. That one descriptor, chromatic souffle, delighted me.

  27. chromatic souffle’ ~ how lovely ~ your thoughtfulness shines through ‘Revealing sacred contours of their soul
    would not have been the painters’ firsthand goal.’ but somehow they do ~
    lovely work ~
    bet Julie was so pleased

  28. Well, I enjoyed this piece, but I do tend to disagree with you. I think that painter’s goal is to reveal their soul absolutely, even when painting the outside worlds. (Painters tend to have pretty strong egos, in my experience!)

  29. well fine tuned,


  30. Love this sonnet .. painting with words! Awesome 🙂

  31. Great write, Tammy. I especially loved your definition of Abstraction, the one they never taught me in college: “A dabbling flirt with the three dimensions can fashion the way the painters perform.”

  32. “great” I love the last line! very,very cool.

  33. nice…once the paint starts you never know where it will go honestly…even the painter does not know until it is done…this is agree with…happy OLN and merry christmas

  34. What an honor to have someone commission a poem from you! I llke very much what resulted.

  35. i love villanelle but, the sonnet works nicely. clever piece and i admire the talent to write about “unknown” things. I try to stay in my comfort zone as i very well should lol 🙂

  36. I really dig that rhythm.

    And I love the way it ends. As with most things, how they finish isn’t quite what they started out as.

    Really enjoyed this. Nice work here.

  37. Love these lines: “dabbling flirt with the three dimensions” and “extravagant chromatic soufflé”

    Excellent closing point.

  38. A dabbling flirt with the three dimensions–that is a nice summing up of art, and sometimes, the flirt even becomes an affair. Enjoyed it much.

  39. I recongnize this, but am grateful to read again.

    Great title and way to start this poem. Catches one’s attention that’s for sure…and it is so true. I also like: “Their sensations become speculations” All quite insightful. Thanks for sharing!

  40. i like the extravagant chromatic souffle and art in some way seems always reveals sacred contours of their soul

  41. extravagant chromatic souffle….whoa! that’s a beautiful mouthful. I’ll bet your friend loved this piece. Nicely done!

  42. A beautiful read again ….thanks for sharing this ~

  43. This was such an enjoyable poem, Tammy. Loved the idea of “dabbling flirt with the three dimensions.” It describes the idea of painting so well to me.

  44. Wow! What fun wordplay, and sophisticated rhyme! This is a work of art!

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