Tuvstarr #tanka”

“Tuvstarr is still sitting there wistfully looking into the water” by John Bauer

Naked and alone
In the heart of the forest
Is all really lost?
When innocence is taken
Do we mourn it gone or live?

***

This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. This week the challenge is not only a photo challenge, it is also an “Ekphrastic”, that is a poem that explores a work of art. The work of art, provided by Diana Peach, is the famous image by John Bauer of Princess Tuvstarr gazing into the deep pond forever, mourning her lost heart. She had lost all as she journeyed into the deep forest, but it was her heart of gold that ended the journey. Many think that she was mourning her lost innocence, which is the interpretation that I took in my tanka.

44 thoughts on “Tuvstarr #tanka”

  1. Pingback: WEEKLY TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Although I am not Swedish, I had a close connection with Sweden during my high school and college years. Until I started to talk about it, I think I thought everyone grew up with these images ;) I think you’d like a lot of his art, as they are often about things like trolls and gnomes and, I think (can’t swear to it), possibly fairies…

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Dale. After reading a lot of comments by people who are unfamiliar with it, I realized that my upbringing is a little different – most people don’t have exchange students from Sweden, have parents who then go visit his parents and vise-versa, and then my mom did a teacher exchange thing with a teacher from that town! We had a lot of books with these illustrations, so I saw them all of the time.

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      1. Dale

        You are so lucky to have had that experience. My friend took in exchange students, mostly from Germany or Brazil but never went out there. Her daughter did, though.
        Very cool that you did.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Oops, I might have said that wrong – both of my parents went there, both seperatly and together, several times over the years and decades, and the exchange student’s parents came here a few times, plus the teach friend my mom met – they went back and forth a few times as well.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. My family isn’t Swedish, but we had a deep connection when I was a kid and so the images and stories were very familiar to me. I had forgotten that not everyone was exposed to them :) Glad you enjoyed your bit of research.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m sure it was a great museum. The first time my mom visited Sweden (she’s not Swedish – our connection came through an exchange student), she brought home a few English version of books he illustrated and some prints. I’m not sure if she visited that same museum or just liked his work and collected it.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Diana! I do love the “fairy-tale” illustrators. My family is not Swedish, but my parents spent a lot of time in Sweden and had both English versions of these books and prints of different works by Bauer. Great choice of image :)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I didn’t remember the name “Rackham”, but Googling it after reading your comment, I do know the images. I’m sure the book is great. As to a Christmas present to yourself – go for it!

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