Looking at Klimt’s Frieze for Beethoven
I told you that I had been a nubile bride myself once,
my spirit fabricated from gossamer and silk,
my heart formed from alabaster clouds
that drifted beyond the pleas of these pale angels.
My hopes observed, my hopes stripped
to the threads of naked wishes immersed
in all the decisions that follow childhood
and innocence - to be sinned against or sinner
when I have never felt sure of anything.
All these women on plaster, painted
as seducers, tempters, monsters of misery,
as if I turned away they might hiss
their toxic terror at me, any goodness
trapped and obscured here in their victim hood.
No man will rescue me or them.
No men really shine even if they insist
they are armoured in one hundred suns,
none will arrive golden,
this is their heavy sword of disappointment.
I will have to save myself.
You said your mother was a Gorgon.
Pfff, I said, my father was Typhon.
He weaved the alphabet into discord
and fire-breathed the births of despots.
But I loved him sometimes.
There's a skewed humanity to every tyrant:
a frailty to the kind of fear that persuades them
to cut out the tongues of poets, to arm wrestle the gods.
I shall weep for my sorrows, you must cry for your own.
These women are collected as if they were tears,
a bitter deluge, but they are more patient than you and I,
I think, not bound by temporal demands, they wait
for the return of the music of poetry
and the resurrection of love.
Image from wikimedia commons of part of the central section of the frieze. Are we allowed artistic boobs on the front page? Let me know if not and I'll take it down.