Recently, Lynda Roberts posted a challenge on her bookstains blog, asking for poems that interpreted Picasso’s famous portrait of his erstwhile lover Dora Maar–the one where her tears hang like icicles from her distorted but otherwise beautiful visage.
The challenge got me thinking, not just about Dora but about other female artists whose portraits–either of themselves (as in the case of Frida Kahlo), or as seen by others–haunt me. Here are my looks at three such portraits–haiku for Picasso’s “Weeping Woman” Dora, and for a 1970 UPI photograph of a well-worn Georgia O’Keeffe, at 83; and a tanka for Frida’s “Las Dos Fridas”:
Poor Dora: Why weep?
Your tears like glass shards–
frozen for eternity.
Georgia’s face–a rope
sinewed strands of sun
desert plain . . . brilliance.
Two Fridas sit hand
in hand, heart-to-heart, waiting
for their do-si-dos–
the endless back and forth
stripped down to artful tango . . .
What portraits inspire you to haiku?