A Picture of Repose

A young boy’s seated on a wall that overlooks Capri,
an oil painting by Dane Peter Vilhelm Carl Kyhn,
where a rock ridge arises over architextured walls,
with arches, domes and towers over roof and mason sprawl.
The landscape artist captured a sweet momentary peace,
tranquility in beige, gray, white and tan, without caprice.

The boy, with blue-gray coat hung on his shoulders, sees the scene,
amidst the separated, tiny plants of mainly green,
upon the wall wherein he feels a calm so deep and pure,
beneath a sky with few white clouds in luminous azure.
He seems at ease, pleased with the stillness of that place of light,
a palace in reality, ideal and all right.



This Theatre of the Absurd

Just as events from January 6th begin to be
unveiled and released, of the police brutality;
like scandalous, political, complicit cover-ups,
it’s obvious, the government has cherry picked its clips,
ensuring that the public won’t get the unvarnished truth.

Kidnapped by partisans and scheming zealots, through and through,
evasive FBI informants and DC police,
linked up with lawyers, judges and the media elites,
lawsuits were then produced by liars taken at their word,
yes, crisis actors in this theatre of the absurd.


for more on Julie Kelly see here.



Bruce Dale Wise is a poet currently residing in Texas. 

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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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7 Responses

  1. Cheryl Corey

    I appreciate your poem about the J6 theatre of the absurd. I’m very familiar with Julie Kelly from her appearances on Fox, Newsmax and OAN. She’s one the true warriors for the J6 gulag prisoners. And why is it that Ray Epps and certain others were never charged? And why is it that the feds have never learned who planted the bombs? Aren’t there cameras all over DC? And in addition to Ashli Babbitt, what about the female officer who beat Rosanne Boyland to death, and two other men who died that day? And why isn’t all of video from that day being released in its entirety?

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      None of the questions that you ask will be answered, because right now we are living in an illegitimate police state, the Justice Department of which is nothing but a Gestapo with a rainbow flag. Merrick Garland is our new Heinrich Himmler.

      Those American patriots who died on January 6 are like the White Rose students who were guillotined by the Nazis in 1943.

    • BDW

      Americans can truly appreciate the investigative work Ms. Kelly is doing on the numerous injustices patriotic Americans have endured from the “January 6 Insurrection”. It is heartening to hear, as Ms. Corey has pointed out, that her reportage is getting out from beneath colluding corporate-media blackouts; and I concur with Ms. Corey, that Julie Kelly is one of “the true warriors for the J6 gulag prisoners”, whose articles at American Greatness will not leave American history narratives to what Mr. Salemi has rightly called this present “illegitimate police state”.

  2. Margaret Coats

    Bruce, you have given us several poetic notices regarding January 6, and these contribute in a truthful light to the importance of the event in history. So much more to be done, but Julie Kelly is a leader, and your acrostic cleverly attends to her role in the theatre of the absurd.

    “A Picture of Repose” would be a delightful description if there were no canvas, but as an ekphrastic poem does best, you lead us to contemplate the details of the painting’s visual artistry, and indeed of the real scene we can imagine better with the help of both you and Kyhn. You suggest as much in your final line. And you provide lovely verbal touches, such as “architextured” and “mason sprawl.” “Mason sprawl” reminds readers to consider the syntax, because it must be an adjective + noun object of “over.” The line is a humdinger pictorially and in words–peacefully rewarding for this reader on repeated readings.

  3. BDW

    One of the brilliant insights of Ms. Coats’ “Peach Blossom Dreaming” is her portrayal of varied breathtaking “vantages”; so it is hardly surprising how careful and thorough her observations are on the numerous verbal concoctions she assiduously attends to. Her word play, too, is both nice and extraordinary; take, for example, her opening main clause, where “dreaming” moves forth-and-back as noun and adjective, as “beautiful” does in Richard Wilbur’s “The Beautiful Changes”:

    “Peach blossoms furnish inwrought dreaming room
    Intangible to fingertips corrupt…”

    Like Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”, her construction of a new stanza, that is, the peach-blossom stanza, tradic’lly inheres to the poem’s meanings. [There is so much within her poem, this is probably not the place to discuss it, nor, for that matter, our many disagreements on poetic practice.] Suffice it to say, her critiques are perhaps the most substantial and circumspect @SPC.

    Although poems, like “This Brave American, Ashli Babbitt”, “Annuary Stichs”, and others unpublished, show no reticence in discussing the topic of January 6th, Julie Kelly’s focus is broader and more extensive; and the diction of “This Theatre of the Absurd” is owed mainly to Ms. Kelly’s. In this respect, it is like the Pound/Fenellosa/Japanese take on the poem of three-thousand years ago—“The Song of the Bowman of Shu”, where a writer can simply dive into the language of another, and write (a common Shakespearean technique).

  4. Jeff Eardley

    Bruce, wherever this wonderful painting is hung, “Picture of Repose” would be the perfect accompaniment. I love this.

  5. BDW

    Sometimes just sitting and looking at a scene can be quite satisfying, and that is what Kyhn painted in the 19th century on his trip to Italy. The painting was not the usual Danish landscape of the artist’s repertoire, and is, therefore, remarkable for that reason alone; but what is admirable was his ability to capture such a pleasant view with a Realist palette. To answer Mr. Eastman, the painting is in a private collection.

    The poem alludes twice, perhaps not surprisingly, though unintentionally planned, to the Romantic British poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850). It’s as if, when I was writing the poem, his spirit just naturally came into the lines, from cerebral echoes, I suppose. It is the most Wordsworthian line Ms. Coats draws attention to; however, it was L12 that surprises in this composition with its quick compact interwoven assonance and dentals: particularly, glide, unvoiced stop, and lateral consonance.

    This ekphrastic dodeca divides more nicely than the tennos of “The Theatre of the Absurd”, into two similar sections, the second picking up on colours from L6, while the first opens expositionally into the structural landscape.

    What may strike readers as an awkward element of the poem is the placement of the Danish painter’s full name in L2: Peter Vilhelm Carl Kyhn; but, perhaps not as ironic as it might seem, as he is the raison d’être of the poem, if not biographic’lly, at least pictorially. [Milton’s utilization of exotic language throughout “Paradise Lost” is one of those techniques that is satisfying to many of his readers.] And though Peter Vilhelm Carl Kyhn’s name does not immediately rhyme, “caprice” in L6 neatly corresponds verbally to “Capri” in L6, etc.


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