‘At the Met’ and Other Poetry by John J. Ronan The Society May 18, 2016 Culture, Poetry 1 Comment At the Met Comic hieroglyphs read, “We are Divine,” As omnipotence flows conveniently from ego: flail and beard, the nemes, a royal apron, The museum tribute of touch-polished toes. Pharaoh’s mummy, painted maché and wax, Lies in the next gallery with its closely guarded Tomb-treasure, gold knickknacks The teasing priests supplemented with beer and bread. The Ka itself, on a solar boat, sails Off to the cheers of Isis, Khum, Ptah! Urgent bravado and wise guy denial Trump comeuppance, curse, the canopic jar. Postcards on a Windowsill 1. Still Life with Apples and Pomegranate Thirteen apples are arranged in the chipped bowl, skins bruised and pitted, shaded from ripe- red to green, all surrounded by shadow. The pomegranate’s foreground, a symbol perhaps of creativity or passion or time. Perhaps not, given Courbet’s candid realism and the bleakness of Sainte-Pelagie – any prison, any oubliette. A pewter coffee pot’s left, recessed behind the stacked apples, odd positioning for everyday use, but chosen cleverly for symmetry of shadow, the sake of the painting. Which hangs now in London, at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, a tribute to the artist’s broad importance and more imposing than a postcard. 2. Pharaoh Pharaoh’s an inch high, one of a million Figurines formed in identical likeness and lesson: Sword and headdress, shoulder pads, apron… His Majesty’s ready for the Met, the bass aria Behold A God, Son of Amun-Ra, Pumped by pedigree, pyramid power, the orchestra. Nothing matches ancient Egypt for sheer Side – empires of grain and gold, cheerful Solar boats, burials with bread and beer. Pharaoh’s unaware of the windowsill or pint size, Mascot status in deflecting meter and wiseguy rhyme, the fear in a pomegranate, postage, pride. John J. Ronan is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, 1999-2000. His last book, Marrowbone Lane, appeared in 2009 (Backwaters Press). Featured Image: Photograph of The Temple of Dendur (The Metropolitan Museum) Related Post ‘A History Lesson’ by Joseph S. Salemi He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. The misreporting of great Caesar’s death Errs by one gross omission. We’re not told That when conspirators... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail One Response benjamen grinberg May 19, 2016 wonderful wonderful wonderful Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.