Hymn of the Kharites
Pamphos, our shades have crossed again,
dim figure standing off in the shadows
of Canova’s Graces glossed
in bookish black & white. Look, they are
all marbled; milky in harmony,
two on either side caressing the third
in the middle, surely Aglaea,
Splendor and Youth; eternal theme
that in your hymn may have stirred them.
Elegance and Charm are whispering
perhaps trying to persuade
their diaphanous sister Grace
to confirm the rumor she had wandered
away one night from the square
out into the countryside
to visit a poet. Was that poet you,
Pamphos? You can tell me, you know.
Shades must trust each other.
Michael Gessner has authored 12 books of poetry and prose. His work has been included in American Letters & Commentary, American Literary Review, The French Literary Review, JAMA, Kenyon Review, North American Review, Oxford Review (UK,) Pacific Review, Sycamore Review, The Yale Journal of Humanities and others. He is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle.
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