The Virgin Considered as a Picture

By Edgar Bowers 1924–2000 Edgar Bowers
Her unawed face, whose pose so long assumed
Is touched with what reality we feel,
Bends to itself and, to itself resumed,
Restores a tender fiction to the real.

And in her artful posture movement lies
Whose timeless motion flesh must so conceal;
Yet what her pose conceals we might surmise
And might pretend to gather from her eyes

The final motion flesh gives up to art.
But slowly, if we watch her long enough,
The nerves grow subtler, and she moves apart

Into a space too dim with time and blood
For our set eyes to follow true enough,
Or nerves to guess about her, if they would.

Edgar Bowers, “The Virgin Considered as a Picture” from Collected Poems (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997). Copyright © 1997 by Edgar Bowers. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Edgar Bowers.

Source: Collected Poems (1997)

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Poet Edgar Bowers 1924–2000

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Painting & Sculpture, Religion, Arts & Sciences

Holidays Christmas, Easter

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Edgar  Bowers

Biography

Edgar Bowers was born in 1924 in Rome, Georgia and earned his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Drafted into the army during World War II, he was active in the de-Nazification of Germany, and was stationed for a year at Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s retreat in the Alps. After the war, he earned his MA and PhD from Stanford, where he studied closely with Yvor Winters. Both his experiences of Europe during the war . . .

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SUBJECT Painting & Sculpture, Religion, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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