Bruegel in poetry

I’ve been a fan of Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac for a number of years now, and was glad to begin hearing it a year or two ago on our local Public Radio Station early in the afternoons. I was disappointed, though, when the show was moved to the mornings, when I’m less likely to be listening to the radio. Furthermore, I retain a certain nostalgia for an afternoon broadcast of the program, as I heard it every day for an entire summer as I drove to work at 3p.m.

All of that to say I added the website to my feed reader late this week after hearing Keillor read a particularly nice poem, Peaches or Plums by Alan Michael Parker. Checking the feed this morning, I was greeted with a work titled First Cutting by Susie Patlove. The poem is about the cutting of hay, and happens to mention Bruegel about a third of the way through in this excerpted sentence:

    How does the taste of my sweat take me
    down through the gate of childhood,

    spinning backwards to land in a field
    painted by Bruegel, where the taste of salt

    is the same, and the same heat
    rises in waves off a newly flattened field.


Pieter Bruegel’s Harvesters, 1565

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Bruegel in poetry

  1. Tim J. says:

    Brilliant painting. Very sensitive and beautifully composed.

    I need to get out and see more art, like at least go to Tulsa to the Philbrook and Gilcrease again. Have you ever been to the Kimball Museum in Ft. Worth? Great collection, and the building I think you would find fascinating.

    Re: the thundercloud painting, Ive thought about doing a series of just clouds and skies. It strikes me as something very abstract and yet very recognizable. It might make a nice counterpoint to some others I’m thinking about that would be basically very enlarged bits of earth or forest floor.

    Still need to finish setting up my Etsy store…

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