Haiku-ing at the National Gallery

I was lucky enough to have a day to myself without any commitments on Monday, so I took myself off to London to indulge myself for the day. I wanted to do some poetry and what better place to go for inspiration than the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. I chose a few paintings and, for each one, put together one or two haikus. You can see the video version of this below.

First up…

Perseus turning Phineas and his followers to stone, by Luca Giordano (1680s)

The Ancient Greek way of dealing with wedding crashers!

The bridegroom’s judgement

Stays bold spears in stony hands

Time is stilled for them


Visage held aloft

Serpent locks, a stare of death

Statues of remorse

Marriage a-la-Mode: 2. The Tete a Tete, by William Hogarth (1743)

I’d never seen this sequence of four pictures before, which tell the story of an arranged marriage and its downfall. This was the second, which instantly drew my attention.

All in disarray

Loveless couple unconcerned

Save for selfish ends

An Experiment on a bird in the Air Pump, by Joseph Wright ‘of Derby’ (1768)

I love the lighting in this one, and the morbid tone.

Within the glass jar

The bird’s life is sucked away

For all to observe


Some fascinated

Some eyes flee the agonised

Spectacle of death

The Fighting Temeraire, by JMW Turner (1839)

My favourite painting, ever.

Last rays of sunlight

Illuminate graceful masts

Last touch of glory


Acrid smoke billows

Unrelenting March of time

Pulls her to her end

Avenue at Chantilly, by Paul Cezanne (1888)

I was captivated by this one, which I’d never seen before.

How many lovers

Walk the shaded avenue

With fresh scent of leaves


Stop to share it kiss

Meander freed of all cares

Nought but each other

Woman with a Cat, by Edouard Manet (1880-2)

She has the look of a cat owner…

Damned pet insurance

And the cost of food so high

Worming tablets too

Hope you enjoyed those. Here’s the video version

Cheers for reading,



You can check out more of my poetry by clicking the links below.

Reversals of Fortune – two poems

Light Gathers Around a Low Place – a poem

And, if you want to see more of my Twin Peaks poetry, you can click the links below.

No Daughter’s Embrace – a haiku sequence

The Pulaski Girl – a haiku sequence

Lady of the Blue Rose – a poem

Just a Photograph – a haiku sequence

Mike’s Story – a haiku sequence

Are you still seeing this…? Some limericks

Shelly’s Tale – a poem

Life’s Intersection – a poem

A Ditty for Donna

The Story of BOB – a sonnet

Palindrome for Dark Woods – a poem

The Battle of the Bob Bubble – a poem

Cinquains for Lucy, Audrey, Candie and others

The Lodge Palindrome – a poem

Two Coopers – Two Sonnets

A Sonnet for Laura Palmer


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