Kenwood House

One of my favourite spots in North London is Kenwood House, home to a marvelous tea shop and an even better collection of fine art.  Among the jewels of the collection are two paintings, one by Rembrandt and one by Vermeer.  The Rembrandt is a late self-portrait, brooding and disheveled.  The Vermeer is youthful and filled with his particular gift of inner light.  Across a single room, the old man and the young woman have watched each other for years.  I wrote this rather loose-limbed triolet in their memory.

Kenwood House

The woman playing the guitar would smile
softly at the dark-dressed man who held brushes like keys.
There in the sunroom, I would come to stand quietly while
the woman playing the guitar would smile
luminous, radiant, knowing she was being watched, to beguile
the painter opposite – keeping her innocence across the centuries
the woman playing the guitar would smile
softly at the dark-dressed man who held brushes like keys.



About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

7 responses »

  1. smiles…i like the interplay between the two….each working their own art…but then too that of the other…it is intersting to think on the relationship as well between artist and subject…sounds like these had a grand old time…

  2. Andrew, this feels like something that you could play on the guitar 🙂 A really wonderful rhythm and flow. I like the holding paintbrushes like keys, too–keys to art, to joy, to…and I love Vermeer’s painting, it is downright glowing–makes me feel happy just looking at it

  3. I love triolets for their musicality, and I love yours for its intimacy with these beings in the paintings, so much more than just images on a wall here. Enjoyed this very much, especially the feeling of peace and order in beauty and craft.

  4. Cressida de Nova

    If I could just own Vermeer’s “Milkmaid” I would never ask for anything else …oh maybe just a small Lautrec on cardboard.

  5. I loved the linking of these two great artworks by such a beautiful thread of poetry! I imagine myself in the room where the pictures are hanging, observing that line of vision.

    Eleanor Kreider “The Eighth Day” 215 West Dinehart Ave. Elkhart IN 46517 574-522-1838

  6. This line shone “keeping her innocence across the centuries” – the rest of the poem was merely perfect. Thanks.


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