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"Art History" a poem by Betsy Holleman Burke read to the Corcoran Women's Committee

Betsy has written a book All that Remains that will be published this fall. She treated us to a sample poem from the book at our last meeting. One hopes our studies have inspired her

Art History

Morning class, pajamas under raincoats

lights go down, anticipation up, slides make

a carriage ride from rural Virginia

to the Met, the Jeu de Paume,

Picasso’s aerie, Rodin’s atelier,

Monet’s garden, the Louvre,

to Paris, London and Bruges.

Dreams of being a painters’ muse

obsess classmates who study art

in Paris, come back wild and worldly,

loving Gauloises and red wine.

With the slide library for comfort

I whiled hours learning artists’ styles

brush strokes, subjects, light.

Fifty years on, a gift of such abundance

seems rare, yet here I am in the Met

with my old friend, Delacroix.

Near tears I view his restored

Christ in the Garden, luminous white

skin, invisible brush strokes, lustrous

light from above. Perfection.

Betsy Holleman Burke

Published in Ekphrastic Review, 2018

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