“We are surrounded by poetry on all sides,” Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) once wrote to his brother Theo. His art was a reflection of this belief. In these ekphrastic sonnets, the author reflects on themes Van Gogh returned to over and over again in his brief but intense journey from evangelist and pastor-in-training to painter of peasants, still lifes and growing things. As these poems reflect, Van Gogh’s poetic imagination was best expressed in blossoming orchards, starry nights, sheaves of wheat, final harvests, and in his signature sunflowers–a metaphor for his own life, lifting petals to the sky, bending toward heaven.
Sharon Fish Mooney teaches nursing research online for Regis University, Denver, Colorado, and Indiana Wesleyan. She won the inaugural Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. Her poems have appeared in various journals including RUMINATE, The Lyric, The Evansville Review, String Poet, Christian Research Journal, First Things, Modern Age, The Lost Country, and Common Threads. She is poetry editor of the Journal of Christian Nursing. Sharon lives in Ohio with her husband Scott, also a poet.