Vincent Van Gogh Cuts Off His Ear — December 23 1888

Photo by Wilson Vitorino on

On December 23 1888, artist Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear following a row with fellow artist, Frenchman Paul Gaugin. There are, however, some alternative hypotheses.

The Dutch painter, who had previously relocated to Arles in the south of France, was struggling with deep depression. He had been finding it difficult to make an impact as an artist.

Nineteen months later, Van Gogh would take his own life. He had only been able to sell one painting; posthumously he was to become one of the most famous and loved artists ever.

*An astrological analysis of Vincent Van Gogh.

Copyright Francis 2020

Poem ‘Little Anne’

Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Franç...
Ruins of York Castle / Clifford's Tower. Français : Ruines du château d'York. Tour de Clifford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little Anne

How could it have a name,
this skeleton dug up in York?
I asked myself many times,
sitting there transfixed by the image –
a face with no flesh

in the open newspaper on the floor.
In the background
the Righteous Brothers sang,
requiem voices reverberating.
A lone, leaden bass

dripping in a sad, grey pool.
I stared at those empty sockets
as if I had known her,
unsure if I was mortal, too.
On the black and white T.V.

they were burying Churchill.
From the kitchen mother’s
caveats decried the great man,
how she’d marched into
the polling booth back

in forty five dressed all in red!
But when I asked her what
a Jewess was, she wouldn’t say.
All I wanted to know was how
Anne had ended up like this,

disturbed in her rest
while Churchill went to his.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon