Archives for posts with tag: Gustav Klimt

by Beth Copeland

She gazed in the mirror as a young girl
at her rosy, apple-cheeked twin,
staring until her face shifted into
a silver-haired woman’s.

A trick of light refracted
from a sheet of mercury glass.
Still, it was a forecast—
the sharp, sunken cheeks

she would someday glimpse,
a woman staring back
in a shop window, a stranger
from another lifetime.

Mirror, mirror

From another lifetime
in a shop window, a stranger,
a woman staring back.
She would someday glimpse

the sharp, sunken cheeks.
Still, it was a forecast
from a sheet of mercury glass,
a trick of light refracted.

A silver-haired woman
staring until her face shifted into
the rosy, apple-cheeked twin
she saw in the mirror as a young girl.

IMAGE: “Portrait of a Lady” by Gustav Klimt (1917).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Witch” is a mirror poem. The first three stanzas establish the self-portrait of a young woman (me) imagining what she will look like when she’s old. The fourth stanza, “Mirror, mirror,” separates the future from the past and also functions like a hinge on a compact mirror. Stanzas 5-7 are reflections, with the lines of stanzas 1-3 written backward. Finally, we return to the young, “apple-cheeked” woman we saw at the beginning of the poem. The reference to an apple is an allusion to the witch who gave Snow White a poison apple and also looked in the mirror and asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Copeland lived in Japan, India, and North Carolina as a child. Her book Traveling Through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award and her second poetry collection Transcendental Telemarketer was released by BlazeVOX books in 2012. Her poems have been widely published in literary journals and have received awards from Atlanta Review, North American Review, The North Carolina Poetry Society, and Peregrine. Two of her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is an English instructor at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She lives in a log cabin in the country with her husband, Phil Rech.

by Frank Steele

You’re expected to see
only the top, where sky
scrambles bloom, and not
the spindly leg, hairy, fending off
tall, green darkness beneath.
Like every flower, she has a little
theory, and what she thinks
is up. I imagine the long
climb out of the dark
beyond morning glories, day lilies, four o’clocks
up there to the dream she keeps
lifting, where it’s noon all day.

SOURCE: “Sunflowers” appears in Singing into That Fresh Light (Blue Sofa Press, 2001).

IMAGE: “The Sunflower” by Gustav Klimt (1907).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Poet Frank Steele lives with his wife, Peggy, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He was a professor at Western Kentucky University, and his poems have been featured in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” and anthologized in The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets (2007).

by D.A. Pratt

If you listen to a certain song
by Simon and Garfunkel
you will hear several
of the months mentioned,
one after another, as the song
tells a story I know only too well:
it begins by saying in April come she will
and indeed she did, ever so refreshingly,
in a month when so much is promised
in so many ways . . . in May
everything blossomed beautifully
and she seemed ready to stay
in my arms far longer than I
could have ever dared to dream —
ah, that was the good part of our story
but, by listening to the song, you’ll know
what follows, that the good part
cannot possibly last and it didn’t for us,
like the song says, if I can put it this way . . .
I hope every remembered romance
has what we managed to have
in that memorable month of May —
but not the June, nor the July
and definitely not the August . . . I hope
for something better for everyone else . . .
As for me, I know I will linger over
those moments in May . . . when our love
was going so well and it seemed that it
wouldn’t ever end, even though, somehow,
we knew it had to die, as the song says it must . . .
Someday, in my never-ending September,
I’ll remember having a love once new,
having known her, having loved her,
even if only so fleetingly, in a magical month
we like to call May . . .

PAINTING: “The Kiss” (1909) by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D.A. (David) Pratt lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. This “May” poem is inspired by a song by Simon and Garfunkel, his all-time favourite musicians. In 2013, his short prose piece “Encountering Bukowski—Some Canadian Notes” appeared in Bukowski: An Anthology of Poetry & Prose About Charles Bukowski published by Silver Birch Press and his essay entitled “The Five Henry Millers” appeared in the tenth annual issue of Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal.

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR: In responding to the call for poems mentioning the month of May, I immediately thought of the song “April Come She Will” by Simon and Garfunkel, knowing that it mentions May . . . I hope the resulting poem honours the song while being, at the same time, an original creation about an imagined romance with one of my imagined muses . . .