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Isabelle Megosh

January 18, 2020


Period 2
Manchu Poetry Reflection
Watching the Moon Following a Shower ​by Miss Nalan

“Now the clouds have left, the hills are once as black;

As mists have cleared, the moon is once as bright.

The nights last long and I become frustrated-

The roosting crows are startled on their branches.”

The first two lines of ​Watching the Moon Following a Shower​ by Miss Nalan have a

calming tone and invoke thoughts and emotions of tranquility. Miss Nalan writes about how the

clouds and mist have left the horizon, creating an image of stillness and quiet for the reader. The

descriptions of the sky and moon give the reader a feeling of relief because the showers and

storms have passed and the world is now quiet. The last two lines of the poem have a more

anxious and frustrated tone. The subject is become antsy waiting for the long night to end and the

reader is invoked with thoughts of frustration as the subject waits for daybreak amongst the

crows. In my painting, I chose to focus on the first two lines of the poem because I liked the

calming thoughts it gave me. I painted a sunset at dusk with a bright moon in the background and

dark, black hills in the foreground to try and capture the tranquil scene.

Art allows us to transcend the urban landscape by giving people a medium for them to

express ideas without constraints. When looking at history, art has been a method of learning

more about a culture beyond what they’ve become known for. For example, by looking at poetry

by Manchu women, I was able to look beyond information in a textbook and look more at the

lifestyle and values of women living in a specific place at a specific time because their art, in the

form of poetry, revealed more about their culture. It was challenging to synthesize poetry and
painting because the words in the poem left gaps that I needed to fill on my own. I was unable to

see what Miss Nalan had based her poem on, so I had to take some artistic liberties and make my

own decisions about what colors I wanted to use or what lighting to use. However, the painting

has helped me understand the poem better because when I went to reread the poem, I had my

own vivid image that I had created to pair the poem with. In the past, I have enjoyed using mixed

mediums because not everything I want to say can be expressed in words. In school, I have

completed projects like C-SPAN and CAP Hollywood not to describe people’s life experiences,

but to actually show it, which was more emotionally impactful for the audience.