Inspired by: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, George Seurat

Emilia Cottignoli '18
A walk in the park. The weather has to be just right for the day to be perfect. If it’s overcast, all the colors are dull. The water is a murky green, the sky is pale, and outfits are hidden beneath beige overcoats or grey trousers. If it’s too hot, a lady will faint. Men’s pit stains will be shamefully covered up by jackets that weren’t meant for the occasion, and children will lounge about; languid, hot, and sweaty.

On the right day, from an aerial view you can see parasols swirling like gumdrops, and men’s hats and walking sticks that look like buttons with extra thread still attached. On the river white sailboats float easily downstream, aided by a gentle breeze. Small boys and girls toddle about chasing their dogs or runaway croquet balls. One slips past the iron fence and into the river, where it bobbles for a moment as a red flame against the current and disappears.

Under the grateful shade of bowing ferns couples rest, holding hands over wicker picnic baskets and checkered blankets. You might find buttered bread with fig jam and goat cheese inside.The grass is vibrantly green like the split stem of a clover leaf and the river water shimmers, showing off its flashy scales to the passerbys on shore.

Each woman displays a pastel dress, none of them the same, but all cut from the good cloth of French aristocracy. Their colors explode like little fireworks against the green backdrop. It is as vivid as the trill of a paint brush’s final stroke, sharp as a whip against a cool canvas.

Leaning against the trunk of a weeping willow, with a cigarette loosely hanging from chapped lips, is a man. His brown overalls are covered in flecks of paint like little bursts of a rainbow. His brow furrows slightly as he takes a hard drag and rubs at unshaven stubble on his cheek. He throws the cigarette to the ground and thrusts one hand into his pocket. In front of him is an easel, alive with pastel ladies and escaped croquet balls, enjoying their walk in the park.

-2017 Chapbook

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Anna Simon
Jay Guo

Photography/Art Editors
Zane Franz
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Prairie Resch
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Abby Fossati
Prairie Resch

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Alexander Yuen

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