This once translation grasps
the thread: woman and spineless
man at one, essentially alone.
Schiele’s hand all over –
pornographer’s eye, death mask stare
limbs that don’t belong.
Life study; art of the possible.
I think of Lowell
lying on your electric blanket
head in hands. Giovanni stands
weaponless, his wife supposed
by touch, the hidden couple
over-exposed. It doesn’t last,
art; marriage forever
Note: While writing this piece, the poet also had in mind Robert Lowell’s ekphrastic poem, "Marriage," about van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Marriage.
Thomas Day teaches English at Eton College, where he also runs the Praed Society for poets
and songwriters. He is the editor of the English Association journal The Use of English. He
has poems forthcoming in Agenda and English in Education, and has published critical essays
and reviews in Essays in Criticism, The Cambridge Quarterly, The Warwick Review, the TLS
The Ekphrastic Review
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