Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two Sisters

Maurice Denis


What lies behind their enigmatic faces?
What tragedies have claimed their waxen cheeks?
The eyes are hooded and I see the traces
Of words unspoken where no warm mouth speaks.
The artist gives no clue to their importance;
An air of mystery pervades the scene.
And odd it is that for their skin he's chosen
A hue of pale and almost sickly green!
I must call-up a tale to fill the spaces.
I must imagine what I cannot know.
For sure no happiness is here depicted.
The painting speaks of grey and grinding woe.
So where, I wonder can we make a starting?
Where can we find a point where truth begins?
Their closeness? Yes! Felicity and Honour!
Two middle-aged and most devoted twins.
They've given-up their lives to nurse their father;
Now he has died; they're seated by his bed.
Imprisoned by obedience for the decades
Now they are rudderless since he is dead.
The women mourn for Father (it's their duty)
And they fear the future now that he is gone,
And yet, I see a light behind the eyelids!
Which one will first say
'Sister! Life goes on!' ?

Another sort of sisterhood here:


Martin said...


I've arrived at your blog via a fairly circuitous route, but it was well worth the journey.

The painting and your nice way to start the day!

Alan Burnett said...

A quite excellent poem Brenda. You analyse the enigma of the painting so well.

SandyCarlson said...

So well done. Who can say the first good-bye? Transform truth into reality?

one more believer said...

having four sisters and being the middle child with a father who is getting on in years this is so very beautiful to me... thank you... i love the idea of the sisters turning to each other and saying life goes on!!!

Short Poems said...

Amazing poem Brenda, I enjoyed reading it :)

marinela x

Tumblewords: said...

Your words do the picture proud!

Amity said...

Beautiful but poignant poem Brenda!

Artists really could paint a true dilemma of subjects in a canvass through colors presentation!

But you enlightened us about the portrait! Thanks Brenda!

lucychili said...

i like the hope
and their closeness
in a quiet moment
nice choice