you’re sure that’s madonna….

A Classic Art ChallengeHere we are at the fourth round of another poetry challenge between my good friend  Jade and myself. This time, the writing will be prompted by five paintings, ranging from classical to modernist. We hope you will enjoy this as much as we do!

Today’s painting is:  “Madonna of the Rabbit” by the Renaissance master Tiziano Vecellio (Titian)

on my way
i saw this poster
saying that
the art gallery
had a picture of
madonna and her kid
so I checked
the guy outside said
sure do have madonna
so i went on in
every tuesday
it’s free
girl friend
that wasn’t the madonna
i know
there was this woman
being handed a child
in a field of green
now  there’s
i can identify with
coming from the projects
and a rabbit
touching her other hand
the picture didn’t say
a damn thing to me
but the docent said
it was a picture of
the real
guess that’s
why the rabbit wasn’t dead
that  immaculate conception thing
given the subject matter
and the possible
heavenly repercussions
i decided to study the picture
still couldn’t see anything
except for that old man in the back
i would have never
turned my back
on him
i thanked
the young lady for her time
and wondered
why in the hell
i had wasted

19 thoughts on “you’re sure that’s madonna….

  1. I m back!!! Finally… Long story, broken laptop… getting married tomorrow… God help me!

    PS Love love love all your responses so far!!!

  2. “it was a picture of
    the real
    guess that’s
    why the rabbit wasn’t dead”

    this had me laughing!
    the painting didn’t give me a sense of her, either..
    I mean, doesn’t Madonna wear those pointy things?

  3. O what an incredible commentary on the changes of culture and the ignorance not just of Art — but of the subject/theme material of Art of another ‘time’ and culture. Wow! Ha—thinking that the Madonna was the current modern singer is just priceless. AND very revelatory about the lack of even cultural allussion/referents. No conception of the nature of ‘innocence’–of grace, of the lack of sin or corruption at all. Instead Madonna the singer is prized and she represents the exact opposite of the Madonna of the painting. I think this answers–in a very small way–my own recent question about what is going on in ‘our’ modern world. Great poem, Charles! Oh so timely, appropriate and insightful. Thank you.

  4. “i thanked
    the young lady for her time
    and wondered
    why in the hell
    i had wasted

    AMAZING!!! This poem speaks out in such a strong way, you have taken this challenge in a different direction, it is amazing!! These lines are beautiful.

  5. Reminded me of taking my daughter to the art gallery for the first time over the summer. I thought the man in the background was a good Shepard? I agree he looks lurky there though! I have lots of your poems to catch up on Charles. I hope you had a good summer x

  6. Always in awe of your writings .. You not just inspire me but also make me learn things .. I did my research on this painting before i attempted to read the poem ! Amazing work as always !! Loved the closing lines 🙂

  7. Several messages skillfully layered in one poem. Magnificient. So many skillful touches: the modern celebrity connection, the rabbit, the projects, and the man in the background. Worth more than one read. Well done.

  8. Thank you for the opportunity to read more of you’d writing and to broaden my cultural boundaries. These paintings often had recognizable (for the time period) symbols in them. The basket in the foreground is probably a reminder/prediction of Jesus feeding the five thousand with fish and bread. I just wonder what the rabbit stands for?

    • Yousei…I haven’t studied this particular period of art so I’m not much help about what the rabbit stands for…I vaguely recall someone saying perhaps ‘innocence’ but I really do not know…sorry…should have stayed awake in the Art Appreciation class at the university. 😉

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