Saturday, August 2, 2008

After the Bath, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1894

The bathers whitely come and stand.
Water diffuses them, their hair
Like seaweed slurs the shoulders, and
Their voices in the moonstrung air

Go plucked of words. ...

From "Five Women Bathing in Moonlight" by Richard Wilbur, 1948. Read the complete poem at Poetry Foundation.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Bozo said...

Isn't Wilbur a wonder? Try "Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning." I've never seen the bathers poem (it was apparently collected in his 1950 volume "Ceremony") and it's a great discovery for me. It's my understanding that Wilbur is now in his 80s and still going strong.

Bozo said...

(And, by the way, the painting is lovely.)

chayaruchama said...

Takes my breath away.

BitterGrace said...

"Nothing upon her face but some impersonal loneliness..."

Wow, you're right, Bozo. Great poem. Wilbur is a wonderful, fierce poet. Not many new poets seem to have that ferocity.

I think that painting is just about the most perfect female figure I've ever seen--the way the light plays off her flesh, the beautiful natural pose, her breasts, her soft, tapered hands...I could look at her forever.