Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mental health break.

John Peale Bishop (1892-1944) was a respected American poet and official, of impeccable reputation.  I don't know what prompted him to perpetrate the acrostic found below.  The poem is lovely--but not if one reads only the first letters of each line.

Famously she descended, her red hair
Unbound and bronzed by sea-reflections, caught
Crinkled with sea-pearls. The fine slender taut
Knees that let down her feet upon the air,
Young breasts, slim flanks and golden quarries were
Odder than when the young distraught
Unknown Venetian, painting her portrait, thought
He'd not imagined what he painted there.

And I too commerced with that golden cloud:
Lipped her delicious hands and had my ease
Faring fantastically, perversely proud.

All loveliness demands our courtesies.
Since she was dead I praised her as I could
Silently, among the Barberini bees.


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