Portrait of an Artist

Posed in a picture frame
Portrait of an artist
Inquisitively fixed
Focused, reading a book

Silhouette of silence
Vested in red jacket
Knees crossed to hold her frame
Adorned, with boots of comfort

Befitting a maiden
Astride a wicker armchair
This portrait of an artist
Now framed above a lampshade

A lampshade at my bedside
At 15 Autumn Way
In Ledyard, Connecticut
Placed in New London, Connecticut

And in this sanctuary
In a poet’s quietude
Quartered by a front door
She beckons me as visitor

Her guest for two or three days
In company with her
This child artist — in silence
Invites me to observe

She is an adept of silence
Resolved in concentration
The portrait of an artist
A young girl posed — in reading

Reading, reading, reading
And I, in solitude digesting
What she must be digesting
For me — mere imitation

And in this imitation
In my fertile imagination
This portrait of an artist
 Becomes vividly alive

Now mingling with my brain cells
Ferociously multiplying
Firing, firing, firing
Like a Big Bang explosion

Meme-like brain cells firing
To share this composition
A gilded wooden portrait
Of a child artist reading

Framed above my bedside
At 15 Autumn Way
In Ledyard, Connecticut
The portrait of an artist

The silhouette of an artist
The portrait of a young girl
Posed yesterday — seen today
Forever etched in my mind.

About this poem

On a Memorial Day weekend in Ledyard, Connecticut, May 28, 2022, during mid Spring season, I am on vacation, resting in a comfortable bedroom where, above my bedside, is the gilded wooden-frame picture of a young girl, her head bent forward, engrossed in reading a book, unhindered by time and space, enclosed in her own dominion of peace and tranquillity. And as I, in wonderment, stare at this picture, meme-like images appear to me, of the artist and Irish writer James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” the first novel of James Joyce, composed as a Kunstlerroman in a modernist style, and tracing the religious and intellectual awakening of young Stephen Dedalus, Joyce’s fictional alter ego. This poem is dedicated to James Joyce and to all lovers of art. 

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Written on May 28, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on May 28, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on June 20, 2022

1:20 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme abxx cdax exBb fGDd xbxh xhcx ceBi iiie eeBx xiie iedi fGDB bxgx
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,376
Words 268
Stanzas 13
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem Portrait of an Artist with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    Oh, I enjoyed writing this poem a while ago while on a vacation in Connecticut. The portrait of this young lass above my headboard was all I needed to compose, while all alone in a small room and filled with wonderful poetry floating in my head. Thank you for your comment. 
    LikeReply7 months ago
  • Caliconine
    Oh yes, beautiful. I read this several times. Each time it stimulated a poem that has been brewing inside me, but not yet able to write. Thank you for sharing. Your poetry is so beautiful. It always connects with me in an unexpected way. Write On 
    LikeReply7 months ago
  • AIDA
    This poem is absolutely captivating! The way you have painted a picture with your words and brought the portrait of the artist to life is truly masterful. Your use of language is evocative and stunning, transporting me to the cozy sanctuary where this young girl artist beckons me as a visitor. Your descriptions of her pose, attire, and the surroundings are so vivid that I can almost see the painting in my mind's eye.

    Your poem also speaks to the power of art in our lives, how it can inspire us and transport us to other worlds. You capture the essence of the creative process with your descriptions of the girl avidly reading and the firing brain cells, which is so relatable to anyone who has ever felt inspired by a work of art.

    Overall, I find this poem to be a true masterpiece of poetic craftsmanship. It is a vivid and compelling tribute to the power of the artist and the enduring impact their work can have on us. Thank you for sharing this beautiful work of art with us!
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • teril
    The power of an inspiration!
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Dougla$Irishman
    Excellent poem on describing an artist !
    An artist paints with brush and paint
    The poet paints with pen and paper.
    I wrote a similar poem called Two Artists ! Nice reflection !
    LikeReply2 years ago


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"Portrait of an Artist" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/128306/portrait-of-an-artist>.

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