Andrew McIntyre, a writer, arts appreciator, and frequent visitor to the Michener, draws inspiration from the work displayed in our galleries and translates his love for art into poetry. He has offered to share his work in the form of a blog post, both to honor the memory of James A. Michener, the Museum’s Pulitzer prize-winning namesake, and to inspire others to express their creativity. Below are three of his poems.

Inspired by “Phillips Mill,” a painting by Morgan Colt, 1912:

I had
Resigned myself
To this quiet life,
But as Thoreau had said,
“I went to the woods,
To live deliberately.”
So I sought out
My own space,
From where I could take in
And receive the world.
An old barn out in the woods
Like a cabin,
Is where you could find me.
But I would not simply retreat
From this world,
But live each day to the fullest.
I would listen for the inner voice
And create,
As often,
And as much as I could.
Each moment
A miracle,
Of endless possibility,
This was the living work
It was what I was called to do.
And in silent contemplation,
I would seek to find the center
I would discover
The revelation of God
In the woods and the fields.
The song of the birds
Would be my companion.
The light
And it’s relationship
To consciousness
Would become my instinct.
This is how I would
Come to pass the beauty
Of my time.
In the fading light of summer
Watching as the wind,
Gently rustled through
The trees.

Inspired by “A Wooded Watershed,” the mural by Daniel Garber featured in the Putman Smith Gallery:

I would always seek out
The quiet places,
So I could hear,
My father’s voice.
The beauty of a place
Made it easier to find him.
From high above the river
We would sit, talk
And laugh together
Among the trees.
The poetry that would follow,
Was his way of saying, “I love you.”

Inspired by “Yellow Extraction,” a painting by Charles Evans, ca 1952:

The world
Was a stage,
But life itself
Could be so puzzling.
Yet beauty,
Divine proportion
Seemed so obvious,
I was so in love with beauty,
But that was too easy
Almost self-evident.
And although,
I could stand outside,
In the open air,
For hours at a time,
And perceive
The world around myself.
All these things
Which I saw every day.
Things which my eyes so often
Took for granted.
All the silent miracles
That I would
Walk right on passed,
Without so much
As a passing thought.
I decided,
That I wanted to delve even deeper,
Into what all these
Shapes and Impressions
Of reality truly meant.
What was this reality
That we took in all around us,
Day after day,
Year after year,
In this accumulation
Of a life.
What could it possibly mean?
Who or what
Was behind it.
So I made the final decision
To turn it all,
Everything that I saw,
Into a giant
Jigsaw puzzle on canvas.
Rudimentary shapes,
With dashes of
Intermittent color,
Just enough
Subtle hints of form,
Broken ​into
Hundreds if not thousands
Of inner connected pieces.
I wanted to force the viewer
To take a long hard look
At what I had created.
I wanted them to squint
Their eyes,
From a distance,
Or stand
And look real close.
In that moment
They would be forced
To stop and really consider
Exactly what they were looking at.
I wanted nothing to be
Taken for granted.
This last impression
Would stay with you forever.
It would be something
That you could never