Marc Chagall. Sleep-Walker (LE SOMNAMBULE). 1911

Marc Chagall. Sleepwalker (LE SOMNAMBULE). 1911 courtesy of

A few cinquain poems in  response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge, based on this intriguing painting by Marc Chagall, Russian-French painter living from 1887 to 1985:



moon’s hypnosis

lures lovers longing to

conquer life’s eternal maelstrom

with love.


You wave,

cry out my name,

urging me to come yet

I hesitate, my love frozen

by fear.



bright summer moon

love beckons in a dream.

At the edge of passion’s flow, I




towards passion

under golden moon glow.

Serpents rise as I accept your




from death’s slumber,

she whispers at midnight

over shimmering cool waters,

long lost.

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12 thoughts on “Sleepwalking

    1. Thank you. At first glance the painting seemed simple but the more I looked the more I saw and wondered about. His style is intriguing. I’d love to see the original painting.


  1. “Conquer life’s eternal maelstrom with love.” “Love frozen by fear.” “At the edge of passion’s flow.” “Falling towards passion.” — I absolutely adore these lines. Your cinquains are so beautiful and the different themes in all five poems shows how varied the interpretations of the painting can be. A child’s dream? A nightmare? Reality? You never know.

    Liked by 1 person

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