A painting inspired by a poem

La Petite Mort

On the back seat of a car, in a secluded clearing,
with the theme song from ‘Local Hero
playing on the stereo, two people
couple with such intensity
that for a moment the forest falls still;

the woodpecker pauses in his drumming,
wood-nymphs cover their eyes
and their ears with their wings,
and a robin, nearest to the scene,
begins to doubt his own ability.

Meantime, a sparrowhawk,
searching for other prey, looks down in wonder,
wonders if, for those two people,
life will ever be the same again, then swoops
to change the life of a coal tit for ever.



26 Responses to “A painting inspired by a poem”

  1. Hi David

    I am glad you posted again, and that the painting is going so well 🙂 I hope things are getting less busy for you.

    This is such a poem that leaves me with a big grin on my face 🙂 I love it, the robin, (poor thing, I hope he will get over it) and the wood-nymphs for whom it is all too much 🙂 and the end of course is great too.

    The miracle of nature…

    La petite mort, the little death, I remember that you explained what it meant when you posted the poem the other time and I heard it elsewhere, so I know what it means but I still wonder why I never feel dead whilst, or after, or just before. Am I doing it wrong, or is this a man thing? (Them falling asleep like corpses straight after is what I do know lol)

    So I wonder if the little death came (sic) before, during, or after the forest fell still.
    Maybe I should try it out, but cars are not very comfortable I think. My only memory of car bumping (?) was that it left me with strained muscles. Maybe if I was shorter, it would have been more comfortable. 🙂
    Or was this coupling in the poem here of such unique quality that it can’t be repeated by others 🙂 I think this might be the case.

    The painting looks lovely, with those white trees (berk , plural berken in Dutch) but I can’t see it very well, I shall try and enlarge the picture. The colours seem very natural!

    I hope you make more of these poem inspired paintings, it is so nice to see them work together. Maybe it will also work the other way around, paintings inspiring for a poem?

    Looking forward to June 🙂

    Big hug, and good wishes


    • Thank you Ina,

      Your comment left me smiling out loud 🙂

      I am still very busy and still concentrating on my painting. I will post some more pictures shortly.

      I do have in mind to do other paintings related to poems – it is a real fun thing to do 🙂

      I look forward to seeing you in June

      Big hug and best wishes to you too


  2. Wonderful how you place us right in the middle of the painting with this fine poem.

  3. Great picture and poem as usual David.

  4. oh those last lines.. perfect 🙂

  5. O David, you are back, and the coupling of painting and poem, though it fails the intensity of the couple in the back seat of the car, is enough to grasp with bare branches at the heart, make it stop, and start it up again. The painting is impressionistic, filled with the feeling of emptiness and starkness along a trail of a road, and the poem echoes life with more power than you perhaps thought it would as the lines came together. The world, the forest, the woodpecker, the wood nymphs, and the robin become still in the rocking of the world within the confines of a car’s back seat, but the sparrowhawk, noticing the wonder of human passion, wonders if the humans will be changed forever by their passion, but swoops down with talons extended on a coal tit, changing the small bird’s life for eternity. Life goes on, my friend–all of life, even if passion can force the sun to stand still for a moment. The sparrowhawk and the coal tit still play out their drama inside the passion of the world outside the passion of the back seat of a car. O David, you are back. You are back. Hallelujah you are back!

    • Tom,

      Thank you for this wonderful comment.
      I have not gone away but for the time being I will just be dropping in from time to time.
      Perhaps on the other side of the book launch I will be able to make more time.
      My very best to you. I hope your recovery is progressing well


  6. Hello, David! How nice to receive your post today, and then how really good are both the painting and the poem. And I don’t know which is more important — painting or poems . But the two of them together is your nicest work, bar none! Nice to see you again!

  7. Anna Mark Says:

    I like the birth of love and then the sudden death at the end with the stillness in the middle. And a good picture coupled with the poem!

  8. Well done and much enjoyed

  9. Hi David,

    BIG 😀 I do remember this poem well! Your coupling (pardon the pun) the poem with the painting is a lovely new step in your journey.

    The painting really conveys that sense of solitutde that lovers often seek. There’s an atmosphere of isolation with the starkness of the trees.
    A most lovely painting!
    I’m so glad that you are enjoying your time painting and that it is going so well for you!!
    Thank you for continuting to share your journey with us all.

    and K’sOTC 🙂

    • Hi Tikarma,

      I love your pun – it brought a big smile to my face 🙂

      I suspect that I may well in the future find more poems which inspire me to paint.
      That thought intrigues me. I think it would be real good fun to do that 🙂

      You remain very much in my thoughts.
      Take good care of yourself

      and K’sOTC 🙂

  10. David, I’m so glad to see these new posts of yours, and I LOVE this one!! I can just imagine (and even remember – a time long ago….) As someone else said, it made me smile. Wonderful poem!!

  11. I remember this poem which I like. I like the painting. I take it this would be the view from the parked car but no one in the car really cares about the view. Take care!

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