A Brief history of art

Poem By Maarja Kangro

In the hot garden of the Peggy
Guggenheim Museum in Venice
stands a sculpture by Anish Kapoor,
a dark grey granite block.

The grey granite
contains two concave circles,
so smooth and shiny
that they look black.

A tanned man in a light shirt,
perhaps a compatriot of Kapoor,
asks whether this is a mirror.
'Magic. A master's hand, I say! '

The man watches himself in the circle:
from a distance, the face appears large,
silly, and close up it's small.
The man laughs and pokes the work again.

„Look! Just look.' He shakes his head,
laughs and stoops over
the big black circles.
Then he's serious again.

„It makes me sick.
Makes me dizzy.
It makes me throw up, booaah! '
And then he leaves.

Translated by the author and Brandon Lussier

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Other poems of KANGRO

The doner

In a small bookstore
under the roof of a shopping mall,
looking for a gift,
I resorted to the silly habit

An old lover

I'll go to the other hall
only for drinks, of course.
Oh, isn't that -! Oh, hello.
I observe his eyes, his neck,

Come into my cave, Matter!

On the manor house clad in scaffolding,
a flag is waving like a rag.
A national flag. Torn and shabby,
it doesn't care which nation it belongs to.

The dogs of athens

In Pláka, around the Acropolis,
not to mention elsewhere,
multitudes stroll and sleep.
Big dogs. Gentle, polite.


So, as a child, you say?
You jumped,
and the pile of Eternit cracked?
Blue sneakers, white chrysotile.