Matisse Replies to Snodgrass: A Poem About a Poem About a Painting
His mind turned in in concentrated fury,
Till he sank . . .
His own room drank him.
- - W. D. Snodgrass, "Matisse: "The Red Studio"
Looking into my red studio,
were you surprised to find no one there?
Calm yourself, my friend, I was only out
of sight, preparing the space for visitors.
Since I am not a part of what I see,
I leave myself unframed. Do you undersstand?
This room is decorated for pleasure,
colored warm to comfort your needled heart.
My art is an embrace, not a devour.
Come inside. A painted chair awaits you.
I will be there. Together we will share
a refreshing drink of my bright scarlet air.
by Joseph Stanton