Sunday, December 13, 2015

Reflections on Bellini

Still pondering Venice after reading John Julian Norwich's long litany of war, intrigue and diplomacy in his history of the city and republic and came across this poem I wrote in 2012 that came about after seeing once again the Bellini Madonna's in the Accademia although the poem is based on a small reproduction of a painting in Bergamo.

On Contemplating a reproduction of Giovanni Bellini's  Madonna and Child 
in the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

Forever young, fifteen, sixteen,
Perhaps, eyes downward, modestly
She balances the baby, still
Contemplating him after five
Hundred years; the marble ledge, the
Pear, and trompe l'oeil folded paper,
The virgin of chiaroscuro,
Of gold and ultramarine blue.

The rounded vessel rises like
A stable pyramid, azure
Mantle of sky and yellow
Earth awaken in the pallid sun
The painter's incarnation, word
Made flesh, womb and tomb,
Oil, wood, the mirror of the eye
kaleidoscope of time and space.

Between the architecture of
Picture frame and painted damask
Silk curtain, opens a window
To other times, distant places;
A hilltop village, slender tree
And blue infinity where clouds
float dreamily towards unknown
futures in the eternal now.

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