Magazine December 8, 2014, Issue

Poetry

ANGELICO’S CRUCIFIXION

Tempera and gold on wood, circa 1445

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue

Here is faith’s erotic life,

Prayer’s unfallen touch, whose brushstrokes hold

Strange virtues even now to halt

And hush our steps beneath the Cross of Love:

Magdalen staggers at the foot,

Her hair and dress a flame, her back to us;

In rapt obedience in her mantle’s

Quiet blue, Mary seems small for her fate;

By hours the painter would have prayed

Like Dominic, as if his knees were stone,

Low as the earth His blood does stain,

Adoring heaven’s patience without pride;

Knowing that truth becomes a book,

Augustine reads, his mother simply sees;

The Lord’s beloved disciple sways

As one …

Novelist and critic Lee Oser teaches English at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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Politics & Policy

Poetry

ANGELICO’S CRUCIFIXION Tempera and gold on wood, circa 1445 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue Here is faith’s erotic life, Prayer’s unfallen touch, whose brushstrokes hold Strange virtues even now to halt And hush our ...

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