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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andrei Rublev

The Tatars are coming.
They will spare neither

virgin nor child.
The steppe is alive

with their murderous cries.
When will the great bell

be cast? The icon
master’s work

in progress
is a pot of paint

tossed at the wall
and a vow of silence.

A horse in the rain
is grace:

the Russian Christ
will drag his cross

through the snow,
the women weep for him

then slowly disperse.
Consider the toll

of the great bell
yet to strike.

Let your clay be cast
in the fire and not crack,

and one true note
at least be struck.

The Tatars are coming.
A horse in the rain

rolls on its back.
An icon lights

a bonfire of gold
against black.

1 comment:

sean lysaght said...

In my poem, 'Raven', from The Clare Island Survey, the 'old crone' is an image from Tarkovsky, following the havoc wreaked by the Tartars in that film.