Lost Inside of Rembrandt’s Poem: Self-Portrait with Two Circles (1660) – Reason 2 Rhyme “Tribute”

kbnelson’s Reason2Rhyme Poetry Prompt – “Tribute”
Ms. Nelson’s prompt for this week is: write a poem to or about someone you admire. You don’t have to personally know them to pay tribute to them. Write a poem honoring one of your heroes, someone who has, from a distance, made a difference in your life.

This prompt gave me reason to finish this poem
which I had been working on, struggling with,
for the past two months or so.
I’ve titled it, “Rembrandt’s Poem: Self-Portrait with Two Circles (1660)”
I know. I know. You’re saying, Rembrandt’s Poem? Huh?
I thought the chap was a painter?
A painter is a poet of color, line, imagination, texture and…
read on for more of my thoughts on the subject.


Rembrandt’s Poem: Self-Portrait with Two Circles (1660)

Lost inside of Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Two Circles,
Wishing I could paint a poem as he had painted that.
What I would give to dye my words within his textured hues.
Or leave my rhythms cradled in the chiaroscuro of his strokes.
My lines fade in his luminescence; they are overcome in color.

What brushes did he use to pamper paint across that canvas?
      Mine are leather straps that whip across my stanzas.
How does he cast that subtle light just so?
      If only I could conjure up an adjective to shine as softly
      Upon a velvet shouldered verse like his,
      Just to show it off.
Where does he gather the depths he paints about his eyes?
Can you not sense the soul that lives therein?
      The poor souls in my lines tap against my poem’s crystal panes.
      They tap for attention; dark-ringed-orbs plead to be seen.
      They are shadow-murmurers behind grey forgotten glass, and
      See how many words it took me just to get us here?
Oh, what a Master he is! Delicate swirler of pigment on parchment,
Painter of divine light, practitioner of self-containment,
And complex humanity.

With paint he did not slur his words, nor mix his drinks, nor waste his time on texting.
Not so with me, poor soul I am, I hold my breath, step back, and pray for concentration.

Randy Mazie


9 thoughts on “Lost Inside of Rembrandt’s Poem: Self-Portrait with Two Circles (1660) – Reason 2 Rhyme “Tribute”

  1. Absolutely stunning.! You know in an odd way your words mixed with the painting was reminiscent of Dorian Grey. I am not sure why but as a read, that is what came to my mind.


    Lady or Not…Here I Come

  2. A lovely illustration of a painting. Rembrandt’s portraits are marvelous; there is one – ‘St. Matthew and the Angel’ – where he has stopped writing to listen to the angel whispering in his ear. Rembrandt used his son as a model for the angel – we can see him clearly, but the saint cannot. His look of confusion and wonder – so subtle – is a splendid thing to behold.

  3. I absolutely adored it! The comparison was captivating. I agree with BW, I wish I could have written it.

  4. Pingback: The Writer's Village

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