Garrowby Hill

Garrowby Hill by David Hockney

Garrowby Hill

Down from the hills the purple road flows
twisting and leaping like a girl who has a new twirl dress

down into the patchwork valley between fields
fearfully tiger-striped with new-plowed furrows
and the rows of sentinel trees standing at attention
with their red boles and green canopy that line the roadside
and hide the green hill’s feet

The road is dreaming it’s a river
the driver is dreaming she’s adrift
on a raft riding the cataracting rapids
into the blue and gold and green and violet land
where it rises up to meet the sky.

Bella looking at Garrowby Hill at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, 2016

In 2016 we saw David Hockney’s Garrowby Hill a the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was hanging near the elevators that go down to the Garden Cafeteria and we paused to look at it. Bella fell in love with the painting and bought a postcard, which is now hanging over her bed.

Recently someone else shared the painting on Facebook and I felt the thrill of recognizing an old friend. I also looked up David Hockey and read about his work and looked at more of his paintings. So this painting has also led to me making a new artist friend.

I’m not sure the poem is complete or says everything I have to say about the painting. But for now it’s done. Maybe I’ll come back to it someday…

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2 Responses to Garrowby Hill

  1. Kathryn July 13, 2020 at 5:09 pm #

    I have a soft spot for David Hockney. He grew up in the same area of Bradford as my late mother, and she taught him at Sunday School in the 1940s.

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