THANK YOU FOR Raphaelle Kosek's poem "What Van Gogh Saw," which was presented so effectively against the blue background of his self-portrait ("Poetry," July-August 1997). Her words immediately and vividly conjured up four of van Gogh's paintings that I have loved for 60 years: "pinwheel stars," "cypresses curling upward," "wild-maned sunflowers," and "crows flying over a wheat field." She captured them exquisitely and with rich meaning.
Van Gogh, my favorite artist, is the only painter I think of as a saint. He understood the poor because he was poor.