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Art Show: Conversations with Dead Poets


by Erika Nelson

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Art: Lure by Artist Erika Nelson

In Memory of M. B.
Anna Akhmatova

Here is my gift, not roses on your grave,
not sticks of burning incense.
You lived aloof, maintaining to the end
your magnificent disdain.
You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes,
and suffocated inside stifling walls.
Alone you let the terrible stranger in,
and stayed with her alone.

Now you're gone, and nobody says a word
about your troubled and exalted life.
Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn
at your dumb funeral feast.
Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I,
I, sick with grief for the buried past,
I, smoldering on a slow fire,
having lost everything and forgotten all,
would be fated to commemorate a man
so full of strength and will and bright inventions,
who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me,
hiding the tremor of his mortal pain

This poem by the lovely late Anna Akhmatova immediately clicked with my oil painting "Lure". The subject, is seated in a quiet dim location in her black dress. She appears to have a lot on her mind, perhaps even having a quiet conversations in her head and heart with someone she recently lost, someone very dear. Perhaps if we could get a closer view we would see tears swelling up from her eyes, her lips appear to be red swollen, was it from crying?


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