(1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)


the body
moving in space through time

the mind
churning gears of thought

the timeless world
the world of time

Pierre Bonnard, I learned yesterday,
enshrined his aging, difficult wife
as a youthful goddess in paintings
depicting their home as Paradise:

a state he lived in,
or aspired to?

The artist speaks
to the figure in the Grecian urn,
the Byzantine mosaic:

“Tell me your secret! ”
and then recoils—
Am I talking to my own creations?

No, no, he shakes his head.
It's you I'm speaking to,
O Soul behind the world—
so near, so far.

by Max Reif

Comments (9)

Max...this poem really surprised me in the end with its brilliant conclusion. I had trouble feeling grounded in the first three stanzas, but with the word Bonnard I got instant traction. Wonderful.
Its honest, a deep sort of self-evaluation on different levels... great poem!
Very well done, Max. I agree with what Adam said about the counterbalancing of the different lines.
Powerful thought and beauty in this one, Max.
The 'I learned yesterday' in line 8 was a beautiful, but easy to overlook, touch as well, since a theme of the poem is the ever-evolving intellect/soul.
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