poetry and art

I don't get poetry, but I've had some poems explained, so I believe they can be got.

Here's a random poem, found by searching for Emily Dickenson:

SUCCESS is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
Not one of all the purple host        
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,
As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear        
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear.

On first pass of reading, I read "succes is counted sweetest by those who blah succeed", I don't know what blah means, but I figure it is probably saying something ironic about success, along the lines of "people who fail actually succeed". The next phrase "to comprehend a nectar" loses me at the word "nectar". The next stanza loses me at "purple", and the third at "forbidden ear".

Modern art I get.

Here is a random modern art piece, found by typing "picasso" into google images:

I see a woman in a chair. Beyond that, it is difficult to put into words. The image plays with the way my brain pieces together meaning from image fragments, even when those fragments are simple, abstracted, distorted, and inconsistent. I like the image. I like the colors, and the texture of the color patches — especially how the blue background isn't all the same shade — and I like the sharp rectangular angles of the chair's back, and the evenly spaced yellow cushion buttons, and the way the shadow against the chair is stylized to be perfectly vertical. The image hangs together well in my mind, and is pleasant to look at. I feel like I can see the shapes move, and reach within it.

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