Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Poetry Corner: "On the Brink of Death"

I got to spend some time in Italy last week with my family (post soon forthcoming). While I was there, I encountered this sonnet by Michelangelo in a museum in Florence, showcased in a room dedicated to his last pieta. It's said that Nicodemus' face is actually a self-portrait of Michelangelo. 

Now hath my life across a stormy sea
Like a frail bark reached that wide port where all
Are bidden, ere the final reckoning fall
Of good and evil for eternity.

Now know I well how that fond phantasy
Which made my soul the worshiper and thrall
Of earthly art, is vain; how criminal
Is that which all men seek unwillingly.

Those amorous thoughts which were so lightly dressed,
What are they when the double death is nigh?
The one I know for sure, the other dread.

Painting nor sculpture now can lull to rest
My soul that turns to His great love on high,
Whose arms to clasp us on the cross were spread.

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