Friday, August 17, 2007

Art and Poetry

Where Are the Shows of Yesteryear?

Where now is Jean-Leon Gerome,
One of the greats of heretofore,
Who made the Orient his home?
His "Woman of Cairo at her Door"
Immortalized an unknown whore;
Imprisoned in its little cage,
Her pretty finch shows evermore
The mark he made upon his age.

And where is Bouguereau, on whom
Fortune outdid herself to pour
Her golden favors? Overcome:
The modernists thought him a bore.
And yet it is hard to ignore
Those nymphets that he loved to stage--
He should have been arrested for
The mark he made upon his age.

Fabres y Costa's Prix de Rome,
His silver medals and much more
Availed not when his time had come
And gone, and left him very poor:
His prices fell right through the floor.
Now exercising righteous rage,
Defenders of the new deplore
The mark he made upon his age.

O Prince, may those well-known before
Find new collectors to assuage
Their disregard and to restore
The mark each made upon his age.

by Charles Martin

PS I had fun looking up the artwork referred to in this poem. At first I was only familiar with Bouguereau.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fabulous marrying of art and poetry. Highly excellent.