Poetry Painting Project: Day 12


We selected 30 poems (from the public domain) and each day for the next 30 days I will write a poem inspired by it, and Addie will paint a painting.

So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s painting and poem, inspired by Ella Wheeler Wilcox’ poem, Solitude.

To read this poem, click here (or scroll down near the bottom of the page)


Rejoice By Addie Hirschten



It was a hot, bright, and lazy,
summer Sunday afternoon,
and all my work was done,
or forgotten.

Upon a wrought-iron table,
just beyond the shade and shelter
of a short black awning,
was a glass demitasse of espresso,
and a thumbed volume of Symbolist poetry.

And I upon a wrought-iron chair,
propped my tired feet on another,
lounged lizardly in the heat,
closed my eyes to fireworks,
emptied my tired brain
of every anxious drop
of thought for tomorrow.

I would find her again
early next morning

now today
from my own down pillow

But in this quiet moment
I caught the breath
of joyful solitude
like a swallow
upon a pendulous breeze—
unfettered by shame—
by a murdered albatross of regret.

Polyps of sweat
burst my bronzing skin.
My face unfolded
like a lotus
for the sun—
bent to the tips
of her fiery fingers—
hot, gilt, curious
and resurrecting.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850-1919. Born in Johnstown, Wisconsin.
Link to Biography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Wheeler_Wilcox
Link to Poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45937/solitude-56d225aad9924


For the past couple of months I have been working on a huge new secret project with my painter, Addie Hirshten, of Studio Alchemy

We selected 30 poems (from the public domain) and each day for the next 30 days I will write a poem inspired by it, and Addie will paint a painting.

Expect an outpouring of creative energy! This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. I feel so inspired by the poetry we are working with AND seeing Addie’s process as well. Expect daily surprises with our posts. Expect passion. Expect love. Expect life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/alchemy.of.art.addie.hirschten/

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:

Creation begins with vision.

Henri Matisse

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