Today's poem is by William Logan
The Girl with the Pearl Earring
In the Hague, den Haag, the shop
that flogs law books
offers a set of dinner plates
with a justice's black robe on the rim.
Crisis = opportunity.
Opportunity = profit.
Profit = justice.
The Rights of Man has been slashed
to a price anyone can afford.
We shivered as the Mauritshuis cracked its doors.
There she hung, in a paneled room,
a seventeenth-century movie star,
Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring."
A world glowered in that earring
according to scholars,
it was only a bulb of blown glass
lined with ground fish-scales.
She stared at "A View of Delft"
in her dreamy, stunned, adolescent way
calculating, a Jonathan Edwards.
Vermeer's vision of Renaissance order,
each brick mortared
in its proper universe.
To reconcile the eye, he wrestled
the city gate toward the viewer
and wrenched old churches
off their foundations.
You can stand by the highway and judge for yourself.
Copyright © 2006 William Logan All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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