Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Artsongs: Two Harlequins (Picasso)

Nimble Harlequins

Where do they stand – these acrobats
     who bring the crowd delight?
Is it on stage with full applause,
     or waiting in the wings?

Perhaps they’re in a circus tent
     awaiting the next cue;
Or simply watching, biding time
     amidst the revelry.

The young one seems irresolute –
     his gaze is turned aside.
The older now is in his prime,
     and stands assuringly.

Their bodies are their livelihood –
     with movement they convey
The follies of the noble class
     while prancing on the stage.

They take us from our mundane world
     more quickly than a song;
And lighter than a butterfly
     they dance us into joy.

But for a moment they appear
     so nimble in their form.
And turning, all our cares are gone
     as they take center stage.

Now standing still, they take it in;
     they understand their role.
And we, still watching, find our place
     within the world anew.

                                                ~ CK


Image: "Two Harlequins" at the Stephen C. Clark Collection, New York, NY
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Medium: Pastel on cardboard

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