Enter the Goat

Adriaen van de Velde, Landscape with cattle and figures, 1664, Oil on canvas, 125.7 x 167 cm, © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Adriaen van de Velde, Landscape with cattle and figures, 1664, Oil on canvas, 125.7 x 167 cm, © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

It wasn’t there when a plain hut in pale wash featured a ghost dog

and a leafless tree. But when the sheepfold with its wheel inside

appeared, tree sprouting leaves at last, with cows and three

(peripatetic) sheep, the goat crept in.

Outsider, shy, alone, but with a species to represent. It meant

carrying a hefty bunch of leaves, possibly kale or rhubarb,

everywhere it went, and refraining from eating the scenery.

Nevertheless it managed, and snuck on to many

a sparkling canvas, sitting down on the lower left hand side.

And when you see it, unimportant to the composition, possibly

even unnoticed by the artist,- consider your own position.

Could you use a leaf of self-belief out of the good goat’s bunch.?


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2 Comments

  1. Michael Baron 10 Jan 2017

    As the biased go-between, many many thanks to Shapa Begum and her team for publishing the Morley College Poets poems. All of us published on your really interesting pages of news and views and pictures are really encouraged by DulwichOnView’s support for our enterprise. Vanessa Bell next and we can’t wait for the opportunity to exercise our passions for what is called in poetry terms ‘ekphrasis’.
    After Ravilious, Escher, Astrup,Knight and Van de Velde, the Picture Gallery is an unique resource for us. Thank you foe enabling us to turn pictures into words.

  2. Hilary Gaster 11 Jan 2017

    I liked your poem.

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