Vincent van Gogh: What Am I? (Sunday Poem)

What am I in the eyes of most people —
a nonentity, an eccentric, or an
unpleasant person —
somebody who has no position
in society and will never have;
in short, the lowest of the low.

All right, then —
even if that were absolutely true,
then I should one day like to show
by my work what such an eccentric,
such a nobody, has in his heart.

That is my ambition,
based less on resentment
than on love in spite of everything,
based more on a feeling of
serenity than on passion.

Though I am often in the
depths of misery,
there is still calmness,
pure harmony
and music inside me.

I see paintings or drawings
in the poorest cottages,
in the dirtiest corners.

And my mind is driven towards
these things with an irresistible

This passage is from a letter written by Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo on July 21, 1882.

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