Maurice Utrillo nu, assis sur un divan (1895)

« Il faut avoir le courage de regarder le modèle en face
…………. si on veut atteindre l’âme » SV

You have to look a model in the face
to apprehend the soul, you have to delve
down deep for truth, to tell that tale on canvas.
You have to look your model in the face,
no fakes, no kindness; truth a kind of grace.
This skinny little boy, her son, just twelve,
seems helpless in the spotlight of her gaze.
Too young, perhaps, to camouflage his Self,
it’s traced in shadows on his tiny face.
It’s clear she loves him, draws his awkward grace
with sympathy, his limbs as delicate
and soft as saplings. How can either tell
why he can’t look his mother in the face?

Moira Egan

Moira Egan

Moira Egan’s seventh collection, Synæsthesium, won The New Criterion Poetry Prize and will be published in fall, 2017. Her work has won many awards and has appeared, in the U.S. and abroad, in numerous journals and anthologies. With her husband, Damiano Abeni, she has published more than a dozen volumes in translation in Italy, by authors such as Ashbery, Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Simic, Strand, Charles Wright, and others. She lives in Rome. 
Moira Egan

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Author: Moira Egan

Moira Egan’s seventh collection, Synæsthesium, won The New Criterion Poetry Prize and will be published in fall, 2017. Her work has won many awards and has appeared, in the U.S. and abroad, in numerous journals and anthologies. With her husband, Damiano Abeni, she has published more than a dozen volumes in translation in Italy, by authors such as Ashbery, Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Simic, Strand, Charles Wright, and others. She lives in Rome.