by George Green

From Tischbein’s portrait of the noble poet
lounging beside a shattered obelisk.
the campiness of Goethe’s hat and cloak
no doubt explains why Andy did this copy.
the coloring is pure Electric Circus
and Maharishi-era Donovan.
“The savoring of unintended ironies”
is Peter Schjeldahl in his last week’s New Yorker
explaining camp to dopes out in the burbs.


SOURCE: “Warhol Portraits: Goethe” appears in George Green‘s collection Lord Byron’s Foot, available at Amazon.com. Lord Byron’s Foot is the 12th winner of the annual New Criterion Poetry Prize — recognized as one of the foremost contemporary venues for poetry that pays close attention to form.

IMAGE: “Goethe” by Andy Warhol (1982).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: George Green‘s poems have appeared in various journals and in the anthologies Poetry 180, 180 More Poems, The Best American Poetry 2005 and 2006, Bright Wings: An illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds, and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. He teaches at Lehman College, CUNY, in the Bronx.


ABOUT THE SUBJECT: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry, prose and verse dramas, memoirs, an autobiography, literary criticism, scientific treatises, and four novels.

Portrait of Goethe (fragment above) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1828).