Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Caprichos

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Caprichos

Article excerpt

With a needle

on a metal plate

Goya etches a man

who has been garroted

by the Spanish Inquisition.

The left leg is relaxed,

the right as stiff as a board,

the big toe sticking out at an angle.

It's better than being hanged,

Goya says. I shall try to believe it.

Ah, the witches,

the old ones, and the young,

voluptuously naked,

learning to ride a broom.

Would you like to see

an enormous laughing woman

with dropsy? Or the cannibals?

One has cut off a man's hand,

and his head,

and is dancing with them.

Goya paints what he sees.

He doesn't believe in God.

Bandits have captured a wagon

and are killing the occupants.

One is on his knees, begging them

to spare his life. Fat chance!

A woman who was raped is now

being stabbed. Her mouth is

wide open, emitting

horrible sounds.

Another of the women

is surpassingly beautiful.

She is being stripped naked.

She turns her face aside,

ashamed of her body,

of what it will do to her. …

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