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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 17: 29 Jan. 2023
Prose Poem: 164 words
+ Visual Art: Painting
By Ann Quinn

Orchard in Blossom (Apricot Trees)

—Vincent van Gogh, 1888

As if the trees hold snow, spun sugar, cloudlets, bare branches adorned with a light that casts no shadow. The ground shows its own festive confection of blossom and it begins to green, ahead of the trees. In the distance, a red-roofed building with a long thin chimney. A factory. This is a painting of what man hath wrought, the fruit trees planted in neat rows, the red roof making the factory a thing of pride. No, it is a painting of what is far beyond our reach, of the delicacy of spring. A man ploughs behind the orchard, his figure frail as an apricot blossom, nearly an apparition. Man is, after all, an apparition here—here in the making of the thing (the orchard and factory) and here making the painting. Imagine the turpentine cutting the intoxicating odor of the blossoms, the ragged industry smell from that chimney, imagine the April morning chill.

Orchard in Blossom (Apricot Trees): 1888 Painting by Vincent van Gogh
Orchard in Blossom (Apricot Trees), 1888

This oil-on-canvas painting by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is on display at National Galleries Scotland.

Ann Quinn
Issue 17 (29 January 2023)

is a poet, editor, teacher, mentor, mother, and classical clarinetist. Her award-winning work has been published in Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, Broadkill Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Haibun Today, and Snapdragon, and is included in the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women.

Her chapbook, Final Deployment, is published by Finishing Line Press, and a book co-written with one of her long-running classes, Poetry is Life, is now available from Yellow Arrow Publishing. She teaches poetry courses via Zoom for Yellow Arrow and the Writer’s Center in Bethesda and is the poetry editor for Yellow Arrow Journal. Ann holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Catonsville, Maryland with her family.

Visit her at: https://www.annquinn.net

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