Raphaelle Peale’s Still Life with Oranges
Raphaelle’s short life was stilled
by taxidermy chemicals or alcoholism or epilepsy
or all of the above,
but still he had a life in art, an art in life
arranged as things gathered
and held still,
so that the paintings might live--
the fruit of his labours here
mostly a basket case,
except for that one orange
outside the weave,
that signifies the artist
by means of its unpeeling.
Joseph Stanton has published five books of poems. His most recent, Things Seen, is an ekphrastic collection. His poems have appeared inPoetry, New Letters, Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Ekphrasis, and many other journals and anthologies. He is a Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He occasionally teaches poetry workshops, such as the “Starting with Art” workshops he has taught recently at Poets House (in New York City) and the Honolulu Museum of Art. For more information on Stanton's latest ekphrastic collection see:http://brickroadpoetrypress.com/order-books/things-seen-by-joseph-stanton
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