Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Musée Du Louvre

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Musée Du Louvre

Article excerpt

The room was like a mosh pit, smelling of

sweat and the vomit of small children, with

bodies packed in as on a subway train.

The image behind its bulletproof glass

was mostly ignored, flanked on either side

by guards who looked uneasy, as if they

had been hired instead to protect the life

of Madonna or Lady Gaga, while

everyone held up an electronic

device, trying to take a selfie, not

the work of art but the image of it,

not the self transformed in reverie but

always asserting its equivalence,

proud and forlorn in time, defeating all

possible insight, and the soul twisting

idly in its socket, poor broken thing,

working just like the shoulders of a girl

who was mugging in front of a Giotto,

her arms and legs outstretched, off-balance and

windmilling, as a winged Christ bestows

the stigmata on St. Francis, this too

recorded, gone live, gone viral, beyond

recall, while across the gallery in

a two-storey-high Wedding at Cana,

a young woman who has dozed off at the

banquet table wakes in time to see Christ

turn water into wine, the beautiful

nonchalant emerges from her slumber,

according to the wall label, alive

for a moment in the cloud of her perishing. …

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