On Gentileschi's "Susanna and the Elders"
pictured: "Susanna and the Elders" by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1656)
No grass, or trees, or sky except a playroom blue
creased with cotton clouds. The stone divider
between Susanna's garden and the world
collapses in its duty, as grotesque and hateful
men leer down from the blank, blind-eyed sky,
invading the stone garden. One whispers in
the other's ear. Susanna's neck bends sideways.
The homestead has been breached, and ugly fate,
its mind and heart as bleak as weed-choked tombs,
now dictates the movements of the human actors.
The drama is drowned in punishing daylight,
and we see that evil lives in light as much as any
dim-lit grove where dryads dance together and alone.
The burning sun excludes even God and His prophets.