On Edward Hopper’s “Morning Sun” (1952)

Some assert isolation or loneliness,
others solitude. I assert none of these.
Not loneliness; her pose is not of despair
or sadness. Her head is up, her eyes
looking forward over arm-gathered knees,
out a window into a new day. Not solitude;
her companion, lover, husband is in the
room gathering her in with tenderness,
regard, and paint. Thoughtful, yes.
Hopper was in his seventieth year
when he painted his wife Josephine.
I assert love–fine, unadorned, and
revealed–basking in morning sun.

Andrew Shattuck McBride


My inspiration for “On Edward Hopper’s ‘Morning Sun‘ (1952)” was the painting itself and NPR’s Susan Stamberg’s story “Hopper’s Pensive Lady in Pink Travels the World.”

Read it and view a photo of the painting here.

This is my August 20th poem for the postcard poetry project. I used an antique card view of pink rhododendrons titled “RHODODENDRON, Washington State Flower.” I mailed it to Sally of Corvallis, Oregon.

Blessings to Sally and all, Andy

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Postcard poetry August 2012, Samples and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to On Edward Hopper’s “Morning Sun” (1952)

  1. Such a lovely ekphrastic poem, Andy!

    I very much agree with your interpretation of this painting; I find it one of Hopper’s least dark. The woman’s face is, as you say, “Thoughtful, yes”–but there’s none of the tragedy or hints of “despair” that haunt the human figures in his other work.

    • Thank you Jennifer!

      Hopper’s paintings are so iconic.

      I wasn’t familiar with “Morning Sun” until I heard Susan Stamberg’s story this morning on npr.org. Her story included references to “loneliness,” “isolation,” and “solitude.” I honestly don’t see these in this painting. Susan Stamberg uses “pensive”–I see “thoughtful.”

      [“Pensive Lady in Pink…”–great sounds!]

      I’m so grateful for your comments and “likes” on my posts. Thank you!

      Blessings, Andy

  2. sonofwalt says:

    Yes, I agree with this interpretation. Nicely set into lines.

  3. tsena says:

    this is lovely. now i confess i have to go look for the painting to see what you saw, though your words paint it finely without ever having seen it.

  4. Tsena, no worries. The link was well-hidden.

    All the best, Andy

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