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Judith Baumel: The Last Judgment in which Enrico Scrovegni is Seen Presenting a Model of His Chapel to the Blessed Mother

Like a litter of mice born bare and squirming

the resurrected emerge from the cracked ground,

their bodies so very pale and hairless

so small and scrawny, stunned and scrambling

to comport themselves. They had been slumbering

so it’s taking some time to muster themselves.

A few lift their palms together in prayer

but others are still hoisting themselves

from their tombs or directly from the earth.

This one is holding the top of his sarcophagus

like a surfboard. He came up with his back 

to the main action and so twists to see

what will soon crash over and carry him along.

There are so many beautiful blues in this room—

the star-studded velvet-blue ceiling, the waves

lapping the great fish as it swallows Jonah—

but our man clings to his blue burden, pewter-dull, 

and he is not yet sure if he will set out with it

into the waves on this strange stormy day.


From Thorny, copyright 2022 Judith Baumel. Published by Arrowsmith Press.

Judith Baumel’s book are The Weight of Numbers, for which she won The Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets; NowThe Kangaroo GirlPasseggiate and Thorny. She is Professor Emerita of English and Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Adelphi University. She has served as President of The Association of Writers and Writing Programs, director of The Poetry Society of America and a Fulbright Scholar in Italy.

Giotto, Last Judgment in the Scrovegni chapel in Padua (source: Traveling in Tuscany)
Giotto, Last Judgment in the Scrovegni chapel in Padua; detail (source: Traveling in Tuscany)

One comment on “Judith Baumel: The Last Judgment in which Enrico Scrovegni is Seen Presenting a Model of His Chapel to the Blessed Mother

  1. Jolly Watson
    August 16, 2022

    Hope you had a good time.

    Like

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2022 by in Art and Cinema, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , .

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