Friday, August 24, 2007

Beech Wood

An exposed ribcage of trees, floating

On a crimson shroud of leaves, bathed

In a delusion of light, wiped clean

By air that whispers as it swiftly chokes

And rain that blisters into all consuming smoke.

Even the dark earth is melting underfoot,

Beneath it no green shoot, no tangled root,

No comforting stone,

A fresh eruption of bone.

This used to be one of my favourite Klimt landscapes until I visited the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna and saw the original. It was every bit as stunning as I expected, but it was the caption in German that shook me to the core - ‘Buchenwald’, Beech Wood. I can’t ever look at the painting without the German title superimposing itself.

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