Thursday, July 13, 2006
As she posed before him, she recalled words
Once read: As the tribe prepared for battle,
She found her brother near the weapon stone,
Handed him a spear and commanded him
To make it sharp for her, sharp enough to
Split the throat of a man. She showed her teeth
Like a vixen. Remembering these she
Felt an inner strength, waxing, relentless.
If this priest-painter, this old man in his
Disgusting oil spattered smock, could read my
Fixed stare, perhaps his eye would not be quite
So sure, his hand less steady, his colours
Not so muted. Some images feed lies,
Balm aching thoughts, smother anguished cries.
The portrait is by Gustav Klimt.
The italicised section of the poem is taken, with slight amendment from Rosemary Sutcliffe's 'Sun Horse, Moon Horse'