A Gallery Visit in the Company of J.Alfred Prufrock

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Salon 1 is, as expected,
early work, I think.
A child in front of her
one chimneyed house
with curly smoke and dog
with oversized tongue and pink
She whispers behind her hand
my house, my dog,
but anything beyond this gate will be
too hard

In the room the women come and go
     Talking of Michelangelo

 

The room to our right shows travels afar
And solid with presence an Indian squaw
She does not have time for tittle tattle
To play dice or cards while infants starve
Her appearance says it all
White virginal arms remark on her skin, the colour so brown
Her home - sticks and an old patched eiderdown?

 

And I have known the eyes already, known them all-
     The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase

 

Next a lady near the Tour Eiffel
with trench coat and red fingernails,
speaking furtively behind her collar
"I will say this only vonce," she utters
comedy is her business and espionage her veil
An actress clearly and clearly misunderstood.

 

 

That is not it at all
     That is not what I meant all.

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Now a  serious and well worn face
her hair  divided and scraped back,
into a bun at the neck's nape
monumental knees support her resting hands
spread like granite sunbursts.
The book lies open at page three
weighted and anchored by her spare eye
She has seen so much more than either you or I.


     

 The women come and go
       Talking of Michelangelo

The final portrait shows a fusion of styles
Picasso's weeping women
Matisse's swirling blooms
hair garnished with whimsy, always on the move
Dealing with angst and dealing with love
Multiplication of duties and tensions throughout
like the eye of the fly and the change of a hat
this person was pulled this way and that.
As if it is not good enough just to be me
made in His image, made to be free

And how should I begin?

 

  - Phyll Dunseth, Melbourn, www.phyllisdunseth.co.uk

All images ©Phyllis Dunseth, 2017