Watch me eat, without appetite, à la carte

Accession Number

Watch me eat, without appetite, à la carte

Patrick Caulfield

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
screenprint on paper

16 1/8 in x 14 3/16 in (41 cm x 36 cm);24 in x 22 1/16 in (61 cm x 56 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Jack A. and Noreen Rounick

Subject matter
Number two of twenty-two, this print is included in a book that has a series of poems by the French poet and art critic Jules Laforgue accompanied by screenprints by British Pop artist Patrick Caulfield. Admired by the artist, Laforgue was a nineteenth-century symbolist poet who was one of the inventors of vers libre or "free verse" poetry. This new form of poetic verse relied on the phrase as a unit rather than constraining the poetic verse to set numbers of syllables. Laforgue’s poetry became important for later poets like T.S. Eliot because of its blending of observations of everyday life with poetic associations. In this book, Caulfield used the long-dead poets verses as inspiration for twenty-two scenes, created in colorful screenprint. Of these prints, Caulfield noted that “They are not illustrations but complementary images. There are few visually descriptive lines in Laforgue. The images suggest the things I have imagined the poet seeing when he wrote the poem…”

This print accompanies Laforgue's poem titled "Complaint about a certain Sunday" that reads:
In this distant cliff-bound village, towards the bells
Once again I come down, through the piercing stares
Of children out for blessings on tepid rolls;
And then, at home, my wretched heart despairs.
The old roofs’ sparrows chirping at my window
Watch me eat, without appetite, a la carte;
Perhaps they house my dead friends’ souls?
I throw them some bread; as if wounded, they depart!
Ah! Until nature has pity on us,
I’ll take my life monotonous. 

Physical Description
This screenprint has a simple, graphic image of a folded piece of paper on a table. The folded paper outline with dark black lines and colored in a beige color. The table is similarly outlined and is colored white. The background is a bright red color. The print is inscribed by the artist in pencil (l.r.).

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Pop (fine arts styles)
artists' books (books)
portfolios (groups of works)
screen prints
tables (support furniture)

3 Related Resources

(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Visual Adaptations of Poetry
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Graphic and composition
(Part of: Design)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved