This French Impressionist painted beautiful pictures, and had a difficult life.
On Copying Sisley
Flood waters surround the inn at Marly
Reflecting sombre sky and drowning trees;
Spare poplars mark the canal at Moret
Linking sky to earth with deceptive ease.
His art evokes a tranquil summer’s day,
Or misty autumn or cold winter drear,
Or golden sunset on Rotherslade Bay,
Green-white water racing through Molesey Weir.
I smear my palette and my colours pall –
Poor imitation! – yet glimpse his art so:
See his yellow-pink become sun-warmed wall,
And grey-white streaked with malachite the snow.
His life one long fight against poverty;
May current praise some compensation be.
Snow After Sisley
Sunwarmed Wall After Sisley
Copyright © Matthew Harrison, 2009