Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Perfectionist with a paint brush,

you taught your eyes to see off-center,

your fresh angles freeing you to view

space and form with new focus.

Uniting classical with experimental,

your soft images jockeyed and danced

across paper and canvas

in charcoal, oil, and pastel,

growing more vivid and abstract

with each turn until at last

you brushed your friends away

and filled your final days

with dancers and horses

made only of clay.

©Charles Ghigna


  1. Hi, Charles. Poems about art and artists always catch my eye (and ear). I love the sad tone of last few lines in this Degas portrait.

  2. Charles, like Laura I am drawn to poems about artists. Yours is a thoughtful long-view of Degas' life and work. I love the echo in the last lines of the soft images jockeying and dancing.

  3. Thank you Toby and Laura.

    I'm working on a book of these artist poems and will carry your kind words of encouragement with me throughout the project.