Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa

Every day he poured his question into her, as you pour water from one vessel into another, and it poured back. Don't tell me he was painting his mother, lust, et cetera. There is a moment when the water is not in one vessel nor in the other—what a thirst it was, and he supposed that when the canvas became completely empty he would stop. But women are strong. She knew vessels, she knew water, she knew mortal thirst.

- Anne Carson


  1. Don’t seek to understand woman. What if you understand her, some day? :)
    About the portrait of Leonardo himself:
    If by chance any links are not permitted here, then this is the prose poem from the essay:
    "The artist with the cat-like perfect body,
    the graceful snake, the wise nocturnal bird,
    whose procreations have the subtle smell
    of hemlock, belladonna, myrrh and nard.
    The bard, he used to enamour Dream Weaver.
    The mage, he fostered every mystery of life.
    His name was Leonardo--Winged Man-Lion.
    His keen violet eyes perceived so much.
    The transient below could never stop
    his flight to other heights--in streams of humans
    he saw himself as adorable model."