Annals of Love 19: The Moon and Mars/Venus

 

Full-Length Portrait of the Moon

 

Alice Oswald, British born 1966, Oxford Professor of Poetry

 

 

She could be any woman at all,
caught off-guard on-guard.
With her hands stroking or strangling and maybe
with her intentions half-interred.
But she is as she is. Her gaze is always

 

 

 

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Kin LV (Das Lied von der Erde),  2011, conteh crayon on paper, string of pearls. 

Whitfield Lovell, American born 1959.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

 

 

filing away at its cord.
And what she’s really after
is you to love her.

 

 

 

She forgets who she is.
She could be so small
she almost has no smell.
She feels like anyone at all.
When you walk up to her,
she keeps quite still,
but what she answers to
is never loud enough to know.

 

 

Eaten away by outwardness,

 

 

 

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Marguerite, 1916, oil on wood. 

Henri Matisse, 1869-1954.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 

A ribbon around the neck of the artist’s eldest child concealed a scar from a tracheotomy performed after she developed breathing problems at six years old.

 

 

 

her eyes are empty.
They could be watching you

 

 

 

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Other Woman Blues, 1952-2004, oil on panel, 

Calvin Burnett, 1921-2007, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

or not. They work indifferently,

 

 

 

 

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Detail of Other Woman Blues, 1952-2004, oil on panel, 

Calvin Burnett, 1921-2007, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

like lit-up glass and if you ask
why she won’t speak, why should she?
When what she really wants
is silence.

 

 

 

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Pair of eyes, bronze, marble, frit, quartz and obsidian; thought to be Greek, 5th BCE or later.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

 

You know what women are like:
Kay, Moira, Sandra.
They move through a dark room,
peering round under
the hoods of their names.
Alcestis, Clytemnestra.
She could be either of those.
She scarcely knows.

 

 

 

 

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Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair, 1896, woodcut. 

Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, Norwegian. MOMA. NY

 

 

 

She goes on thinking something

 

 

 

 

 

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Portrait of Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair, 1896, woodcut. 

Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, Norwegian. MOMA. NY

 

 

 

just over your shoulder.
This could be the last night
before you lose her.
But what’s the use
of saying one thing or another.
When what she’s really after

 

 

 

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Portrait of Benjamin Passione, acrylic and mixed media on board, 2009. 

Mickayel Thurin, American born 1987.  Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

is you to love her.

 

 

 

 

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Detail of Portrait of Benjamin Passione, acrylic and mixed media on board, 2009. 

Mickayel Thurin, American born 1987.  Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia

 

 

 

Header is Blessing of the New Moon, 1911, oil on canvas.  Benzion Sokiranski, 1887-1953, Polish.  Jewish Museum, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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