#AtoZChallenge ‘V’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘Edward Hopper Study: Hotel Room’ by Victoria Chang #amwriting #poem

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of the  poem, or the author’s name will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Edward Hopper Study: Hotel Room by Victoria Chang

While the man is away

telling his wife

about the red-corseted woman,

the woman waits

on the queen-sized bed.

You’d expect her quiet

in the fist of a copper

statue. Half her face,

a shade of golden meringue,

the other half, the dark

of cattails. Her mouth even—

too straight, as if she doubted

her made decision, the way

women do. In her hands,

a yellow letter creased,

like her hunched back.

Her dress limp on a green chair.

In front, a man’s satchel

and briefcase. On a dresser,

a hat with a ceylon

feather. That is all

the artist left us with,

knowing we would turn

the woman’s stone into ours,

a thirst for the self

in everything—even

in the sweet chinks

of mandarin.

****

Most poets are influenced by what they see, and especially by other art forms. I think this poem by Victoria Chang captures the moment Hopper froze in his painting and reminds us that the artist wanted the viewer to ‘turn the woman’s stone into ours.’ The poet interprets the picture is about a search for the self.  More about VICTORIA CHANG.

****

My interpretation of the picture is more of a sense of a loss of self, of being trapped in nothingness. The girl has no way out. She can’t make sense of the world around her. She’s depressed, desperate, alone and trapped…

****

Trapped by Luccia Gray (after Edward Hopper’s Hotel Room)

 *

Bags dropped,

Hat off,

Dress neatly folded.

Shoulders hunched,

Naked,

Faceless,

Reading

Your wordless letter.

‘To whom it may concern,’

She replied,

‘No way out.’

****

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