I, Sofinisba, Plot My Future
There's a story about how, when Sophinisba Anguissola was taken to Rome when she was in her teens and introduced to the great Italian Renaissance painter and sculpture Michelangelo, she showed him a picture she had done of a laughing girl. He told her that was too easy an assignment, then challenged her to make a picture of a crying boy. She did it easily.
I’ll bet he thought I couldn’t do it,
that Michael of the Angels whom
they brought me to, to measure my worth,
no doubt. But really it was no problem. What’s
so hard about drawing a boy crying? The eyes
squinted shut, the corners of the mouth pulling
down. You can’t see them yet but there will be
tears. And blood.
Didn’t anyone tell him I have a brother, who
cried almost daily, when he wasn’t laughing.
Well, we all were that day, even me, while I rushed
to get their chess game down on paper in conte, pre canvas.
Can you spot our Minerva on the right, so sure she’d win,
while the rest of us could see — even little Europa —
that Lucia had it in the bag from the start.
One simple move plotted ages ago and
that King was as good as
Linda Brandt Myers
Linda Brandt Myers has a BFA in painting and an MFA in fiction writing from Cornell University and has had several good teachers who liked her poems, among them poets Alice Fulton and Joanie Mackowski and writer Irene “Z” Zahava, and included them in such small anthologies as Battered and Shiny as the Moon and 06/06/06: A Diary Project. She has been a contributing nonfiction writer to various Cornell University magazines for 35 years and has won a CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) award for that writing.
The Ekphrastic Review
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