“Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer” by Rembrandt van Rijn.‘Contemplating Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer’ by James A. Tweedie The Society June 22, 2021 Art, Beauty, Culture, Ekphrastic, Poetry 7 Comments . Contemplating Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer He stands enwrapped in luminous shadowed light, A woven cord of gold across his chest, Voluminous silk sleeves of purest white Contrast the deep-black velvet of his vest. Arrayed as though he were a wealthy man; A citizen of Rembrandt’s Amsterdam. An Aristotle lost in time and space; The Netherlands reborn as ancient Greece; The past as present, brush-stroked into place, An artist’s metaphoric masterpiece. As time stands still, the sage’s eyes embrace The enigmatic, stone-blind Homer’s face. The famed philosopher and polymath Of all that is and was and yet shall be, Now walks his thoughts down a mimetic path That leads to music, art and poetry, And lays his hand of blessing on the head Of one whose words yet live though he be dead. Like Aristotle we look to the past, And see Achilles on the fields of Troy. And from that tragic tale return at last To home, a wife’s long-suffering love, and joy. We place the bust of Homer on our shelves And deem him greater than we deem ourselves. . . James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. 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CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 7 Responses Paul Buchheit June 22, 2021 Very nice, James. A work of art on your own part. Reply Andrew Benson Brown June 22, 2021 A lovely ekphrastic poem, James—and featuring one of the early theorists of ekphrasis! Rather strange about Aristotle’s updated raiment…am guessing this was also meant to double as a portrait of some Netherlandish merchant? Reply David Whippman June 27, 2021 Andrew, I think it was often the custom for artists to paint scenes from antiquity with the characters wearing clothes from the artist’s own period. Reply Paul Freeman June 22, 2021 I enjoyed that. Thanks for the read, James. Reply BDW June 22, 2021 As per Cees Wilard Bui: Structurally, the poem is four sixtaines (sestets) of iambic pentameter with an English rhyme scheme of ABABCC, like that used by Shakespeare in his “Venus and Adonis” of 199 stanzas. Mr. Tweedie’s “Contemplating Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer” is opmerkelijk, worthy of presence in an anthology of 21st century poetry. My favourite rhyme is luminous and voluminous, and though I like the entire poem, my favourite parts are the tweede stanza and the final couplet. Reply James A. Tweedie June 23, 2021 Thank you, Bruce for your kind words (although one of them, “opmerkilijk,” I had to look up!). When I submitted the poem Evan drew my attention to one you had posted on the same subject several years ago. There are, of course, enough stories in this painting to inspire any number of poetic inventions. No doubt there are more being written even as I write! All the best to you and to the others who took the time to comment on my poem. Reply Julian D. Woodruff June 23, 2021 Thank you for an excellent poem, Mr. Tweedie. The more we remember outstanding instances of venerating cultural icons the more resistance is built to facile cancellation. (Speaking as someone not prepared to deck anyone foaming at the mouth to bomb a California mission or a school named after Lewis and Clark) Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.