The morning star

Shines through a veil of cloud –

Venus wrapped in gauze.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

Composed for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, where the challenge was to write a haiku inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Chevrefeuille told us that Van Gogh said in a letter to his brother that the brightest star he could see from his barred window in the asylum near San Remy was Venus. Scholars have found that the morning star was indeed visible from Provence in the spring of 1889 (we can see it to the right of the cypress). The moon, however, is incorrect – it would have been waning gibbous (more than half full). The village was also not visible from Van Gogh’s cell.

A painting of a scene at night with 11 swirly stars and a bright yellow crescent moon. In the background there are hills, in the middle ground there is a moonlit town with a church that has an elongated steeple, and in the foreground there is the dark green silhouette of a cypress tree.

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