Americans think his surname rhymes with dough.
The English think it rhymes with lough (or loch).
It rhymes with no word in the English language,
but is pronounced just like another Dutch painter's name:
de Hoogh (or Hooch): like hoke with a sore throat
or a cough.
What most non-Dutch don't realise
is that the van in Vincent's name
is not pronounced as if referring to a vehicle
or a grotesque pop-singer who lived a mile from me,
but like the German von which sounds
somewhere between fon and fun.
Apart from the difficulty with his name, there is
his appearance, so varied in his wonderful self-portraits.
Yet were he to walk in through the door I'd recognise him.
He might have looked like this, a disputed photograph
(of his double ?) taken in St.Hyacinthe, Québec in 1886,
when he was still alive:
comparisons taken from
Is his ear is noticeably different ?
and his pedestrian follower Vlaminck),
I was struck on my left lug by a thug with a broken bottle,
and the blood spurted over my clothes and over the telephone and the telephone box a mile down the road.
Ears bleed profusely.
It was nearly severed, but was patched up quickly
in the hospital (another 4 miles away)
where I was brought by car.
I still have the faint scar.
|Yellow moon and cypress, self, no stars,