Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Adoration of the Kings


The Adoration of the Kings
by William Carlos Williams

From the Nativity
which I have already celebrated
the Babe in its Mother’s arms

the Wise Men in their stolen
splendor
and Joseph and the soldiery

attendant
with their incredulous faces
make a scene copied we’ll say

from the Italian masters
but with a difference
the mastery

of the painting
and the mind the resourceful mind
that governed the whole

the alert mind dissatisfied with
what it is asked to
and cannot do

accepted the story and painted
it in the brilliant
colors of the chronicler

the downcast eyes of the Virgin
as a work of art
for profound worship

4 comments:

lynda said...

as you can see williams says he has 'already celebrated' this painting- what he's referring to is actually a section from a much longer poem 'paterson'; the relevant section is from paterson v and here's a link to it;
http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_1741502511/a_brueghel_nativity_by_william_carlos_williams.html

Tasha said...

The link you posted doesn't work anymore, but I found an interesting critique of the passage you're talking about here:
http://impossibleobject.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

Tasha said...

Aha! I found it!

Lynda said...

i hope you enjoyed paterson :)