Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Descent From The Cross (Beckmann)


The man being dead is beyond all doubt.
The painter has allowed us no illusions.
The body, tree trunk stiff, with a green cast,
Desiccated, a garden of endless drought,
Will elicit not one prayerful effusion
Of beseeching. All hope has been blasted.
The workers, shocked and careless,
As they are always made by this task,
Quickly hand down the odious carcass,
Their faces dim mirrors of his hard mask.
The woman in red cannot bear to look on,
But the man's mother looks us in the eye,
Challenging us to see beyond the icon
Of death, to see it as she sees it, a lie.

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