Without the Magpie

By Annette Marie Hyder

The tree tops look like black finials
that have come alive to twist against the sky
like a Sleeping Beauty wall of thorns
barring heaven’s molten door.
No Babylonian hanging gardens here,
whose flowers throw themselves wantonly on the air,
but the sun this morning touches each sharp point
of these November trees, drapes silk and plumps pillows
of pink shadow; paints gloriously and with soft sighs
something like, and yet without, Monet’s Magpie.

Notes about Monet’s The Magpie (French: La Pie)

From the Musée d’Orsay website: “This painting of a place in the countryside near Etretat, executed on the spot, uses very unusual pale, luminous colours, a fact highlighted by the critic Felix Fénéon: “[The public] accustomed to the tarry sauces cooked up by the chefs of art schools and academies, was flabbergasted by this pale painting.”” Read more here.

From Wikipedia:
“The Magpie is an early example of Monet’s investigation of colored shadows…French Impressionists popularized the use of colored shadows, which went against the artistic convention of portraying shadows by darkening and desaturating the color. Colored shadows can be directly observed in nature…Read more here.