"A Groundless Icon"
There is one ground that never shifts -
It's not the rock nor soil I stand on!
It's not the foundations of the house,
That my weary body sleeps in.
That one ground that never shifts,
As Greeks and Russians do aver -
The gilded ground of the sacred icon -
Of eternal verity assures unchangeable.
What dastardly heresy, what shame
Of shames! What untruth, betrayal,
To limn the Holy Mother, with her
Yet more Holy Son, on a sheet of glass.
Glass - transparent, veil-less veil,
Sullied by every transient shadow,
Corrupted by the passing world,
No ground for eternal verity.
Woe is me! I am undone!
The impassable passable
Is rendered into time,
Out of synch with eternity!
Great heresy! The shame of it!
-JW, lamentation for a sundered icon, 2/23/11.
The Greek blood in me shudders!
The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Flickr's Millinerd's "Office Window"
"A Groundless Icon"
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- John Walford
- United States
- I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.