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Violence ( Goya “The Third of May 1808”)

Violence ( Goya “The Third of May 1808”)

The brain – the brush
Here celebrate
That long red stain
Seeping the universe.

Was not the chink of light
Peeping between the walls
Of birth – of death
Transient enough? –
And yet this trivial massacre
Must shorten it.

And only one protests –
That man
White-shirted – arms upraised
In one last gesturing
Of affirmation.
If he had got the time
He might be singing –
Might tell them
That life still has its treasuries to open
For him at least –
Perhaps for them.

But these are no times for song,
Only that flinging of his arms
Is yet permitted him,
And all his dazzling white
And blaze-dark eyes
Are but a silhouette
Against the symmetry of dying.

One moment hence
Or rather but a millionth of a moment
And life will be a full stop
– filled with blood.



Poem Violence ( Goya “The Third of May 1808”) - Ian Emberson