Friday 10 September 2010

Throw in a couple of stars, will you!

Walking across blogosphere throws many wonderful sights and words. You would definitely agree with me on this, won't you. I must tell you that Mr. van Gogh is spread all over this terrain in many forms. Let me pin down to one of my favourites: Starry Night. When van Gogh painted this in September 1888, little did he know that this piece would become the most reproduced one from his collection. It is said that he painted the piece 'Starry Night' from memory.

People have used this painting in many forms:  an expression, a greeting card, a song, to refer to a beloved's eyes and so on. Some people have blogs which are named "Starry Night" or "Starry."

I can get lost in this piece as I love stars and also the works of van Gogh. Perhaps his tragic life has given more mileage to him. I have explored this topic in one of my earlier posts. I have also talked about stars. But the desire to make a combination out of stars and van Gogh is something I have been  yearning to do for a long time.

Whenever I see this piece by van Gogh, I get a bit melancholic.  Not exactly melancholic, but reflective, I guess. The more I gaze at the picture, the more I allow myself to be transported into that scene. And when I am transported, I feel that I am not alone. There are thousands of people and stars. Perhaps this is a collective expression of a piece of art. There are so many out there who feel the same way about "Starry Night." I almost feel that all those people are standing and becoming entwined with the stars. What a lovely transportation!

Now another experience is when I hear the song "Starry Starry Night" by Don McLean. McLean's voice gently leads us to the wonder of van Gogh's paintings. It is a lovely tribute by one artist to another.

Let me give you the lyrics of the song "Starry Starry Night"

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the strangers that you've met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will... 

It is amazing how this man Vincent van Gogh with a simple theme like stars has captivated so many different thoughts, souls and works of art.

After seeing the painting here, what do you think. Does it remind you of love, Vincent van Gogh, Don McLean or NOTHING.

Image: Internet


  1. Amazing painting, thanks for sharing Susan :)
    Although, I could sense a feeling of longing, after looking at this piece of art, yet it was kind of serene...
    And what beautiful lyrics...
    'Weathered faces lined in pain,
    Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.' simply lovely!!!

  2. Susan your blog is bright in colors and the post of stars. The color you have chosen reflects focus or concentration strengths....
    Love looking at stars in the night. Brings out warm fuzzy feelings..... Enjoy the stars

  3. Beautiful post combining my favorite lyrics in a song with a very beautiful painting, with so much gentle melancholy in both. I follow your sentiments completely, and love the connection you make.
    Have a lovely Friday dear friend,

  4. Ruchi:

    Stars and van Gogh are a deadly combo! The song does evoke many stirrings within us. I am glad you enjoyed the painting and the song. Your visits always leave me with happy happy feelings.


    Hope you are doing great at 'home.' Even I love gazing at those diamonds in the sky. One feels connected with the entire Universe :)

  5. Zuzana:

    I am glad you enjoy the song as well as the painting. It is indeed a lovely combination, as I was telling Ruchi. You have a splendid Friday and weekend, dear Zuzana. Thanks for your visits and kind words, as always :)

  6. to me it is cool that the painting is the catalyst for so many other thoughts....that is hte power of the artist, the writer, even the me it is whimsical...and hopeful..that is what i see when i look into the night sky...the possibilities...

  7. Susan, I absolutely loved this post. I love the "impressionist" era and Monet is one of my favorites but I also am intrigued by Van Gogh. Additionally, I don't think I ever really listed to the lyrics of "Starry, Starry Night". I thank you for printing them here. Very stirring.

  8. I love Van Gogh... I have two of his works on tapestries I bought from Belgium. They are gorgeous... and transporting. And, I love McLean. And this song. It is an old one... a classic... but eternal.

    When we lived in Belgium, one town away from where we lived, there was a house that Van Gogh lived in when he was "in hiding" so to speak. I went to visit that house once, on a rare occasion when it was open for visits. And when I stepped inside, there was an indescribable presence of sadness. It was a truly haunting experience. And this post has brought it back to me. Such stirring memories!

    Thank you for a lovely post, dear Susan.

    Big hugs,

  9. Brian:

    I know. The painting, though created ages ago is still alive and in the rounds. Now that is what is called a classic! The night sky always brings hopes alive for me. I cannot but marvel at the Creator while gazing at them :)


    Monet is one of my favourites as well. I am glad the lyrics stirred you. McLean has a very sober voice whose liquid tone melts within.

  10. Nevine:

    Wow! The tapestries must be lovely! Thanks for sharing a story from within your memory chest. I am glad that this post brought this memory out to you and all of us. The word "stirring" has appeared twice in the comments and incidentally that is how I feel when I look at the painting and the stars in the night :)
    Have a lovely weekend dear Nevine and warm hugs back to you.

  11. Susan, this is a famous piece from Van Gogh's works and I've always admired his works. But this is the first time Im listening to this song "Starry Starry night" and it is just wonderful goes so well with the mood of this painting. Thanks for sharing this song and introducing me to Don McLean. I've started listening to all his other songs as well :)


  12. I love Van Gogh and this painting. When I see it, it transports me to ...a sad, mellow place within me. Like most masterpieces, it touches me on a level beyond the linear.

    What a nice post. Thank you Deborah.

  13. I love this painting as well. There's always something new to discover in it!

  14. Sukanya:

    Welcome again. I am happy that you got introduced to McLean. He is an old time singer. His "American Pie" was a runaway hit. Have a good weekend dear Sukanya :)


    It does appeal to the inner senses. Have a splendid weekend dear Myrna :)

  15. I love his work... I could not choose a favorite... but I find his painting unquieting... so for example this one I see like a night mare (separated on purpose)
    Intriguing, but amazing

    Sweet hugs Susan!

  16. "Starry Night" is a seminal and beautiful painting. It is simple, like all great art...a simple depiction of the stars, but so much meaning, so much depth. Not to mention the texture of the piece - I am in awe whenever I see it. And yes, I agree...there is a sense of melancholy, as their is with most of Van Gogh's work, he lived, after all, such a melancholic life.

  17. Dulce:

    I am glad that you like his works as well :) Given other occasions, I would have been at a loss to pick a favourite but since I wanted to write about this, I could narrow down. Sweet hugs back to you dear Dulce :)


    All great art are simple yet captivating. I wonder whether the melancholy within him showed in his works. He is said to have loved this piece. Maybe the painting itself is happy but we turn melancholic when we see and experience it!

  18. 'Lust for life' was my first introduction to Vincent Van Gogh and his work.

    Interesting post about 'Starry night.' :)

  19. Chandrika:

    Thanks for sharing a tidbit about you. Your visits give me joy!


  20. Starry starry night is one of my favoritestest songs! Wow. The beauty in melancholy and sanity.

    I love gazing at the stars, Susan. :) Such poetic happiness, art gives us. It's truly wonderful.

  21. I think I have to stare/gaze at this picture for a long time to reflect what I feel...It'll take time.

  22. I love Van Gogh and that classic song/lyrics really spoke to my soul.
    Thanks for sharing this remarkable post, Susan.

    Hope you're having a relaxing weekend.

    PLUS: Too busy working on a research project..agh! but I had/loved to quick pop over here. :)

  23. Mridula:

    It is a lovely song :) I am glad we like it. Art is always transporting and I willingly allow it to take hold of me. Thanks for coming by dear Mridula. Have a great week ahead :)


    Take your time :)


    I am happy that you stopped by inspite of your busyness. Honoured indeed. Your kind words always make me happy and joyous.

    Have a lovely week ahead dear Betty :)

  24. From now on it will remind me of Don McLean :-)

  25. Hi Susan
    Love that song, but are you trying to make me cry?

    I'm in the process of writing a post about the power of using emotions when giving a speech.
    This is a poweful example of how emotions are used in song lyrics - hope you don't mind if I make a reference to this post and that great song.

  26. Keith:

    Welcome here and please do use the contents of this post. I am honoured indeed.

    And, I did not try to make you cry. The song worked its way into you, I reckon!

    Joy always :)



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