Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Blinding of Samson

Rembrandt’s careful eyes didn’t betray him
Like he’d always feared in time they would

His painted fascination, drowning pools of umber
With flashes of thin splashed mink-haired white

Mouth, ears, hands, high foreheads, soft necks
All sensed through shared visions of a master

For all but imagined Tobias and his blind father
Healed by smeared fish bile at Raphael’s advice

Tobias’ kind eyes soft muted by pigment’s taboos
That captive guide to the painter’s forfeiture

Witness to his father’s eyesight’s dim demise, he
tinged all his gradients a finely disguised crimson

Hinting at his own corporeality ebbing between
the tint of dark undulations, well lit then lost

This impenetrable darkness of engulfed visions
rendered in such minute detail, sight’s empathy

Each fleshy hue pulled taut to contain a meaning
Lucid skin immersed in a porous wash of stories

All strengths have secret flaws softly concealed
Love’s invisible tug distorting senses like disease

Brightest skies in a defiantly blinding blue a
colossal revolt to Samson’s wide-eyed betrayal

By Delilah’s gaping gaze consumed by wiles, then
A self portrait of shadows pulled across heavy lids

Such accentuation in history’s obscured frailties by
A painter haunted by blind violinists and beggars

Nothing on canvas trembles like that thin fear
Drowned in the infinities of Rembrandt’s shadows

Characters loosely clothed in fabrics detailed creases
Lonely souls exposed without drawing crude realism

The tiny folds of skin grown over his Mother’s eyes
Seen with the forensic precision of delicate prophecy

Blackness growing faster silently as Samson’s hair
Too slowly to gain sought salvation without ridicule

A whispered alert to the spectator’s engaged gaze
Awake to the act of looking where light ends

A clarity recorded in endless perceptions framings
Of a man’s fear governed by his father’s losses


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this "muchly"

but for some reason the lines I paste below did not resonate, and to call him a master so early or maybe at all seemed redundant and preemptive

Mouth, ears, hands, high foreheads, soft necks
All sensed through shared visions of a master

except for that tiny little thing in my ear, this itself approaches mastery ... I'll have to read a few more times re the operative verb "approaches" there !!

.. Miguel / wwE

Amanda Joy said...

Thanks Miguel, this is actually one of my favourite poems.. never gets a lot of online comments.. yet in private communications it seem to be one which is dear to some..


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

"Murder your darlings"?

It has some wonderful phrases, images ... but altogether too many words piled on words for my taste.

But heck, I suppose there has to be one of your poems I don't entirely admire!