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On Viewing Kathe Kollwitz's "Death and a Woman, Ascending" On Viewing Kathe Kollwitz's "Death and a Woman, Ascending"
by Dr. Lawrence Nannery
2013-02-14 11:33:00
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Yes, an affirmation.  Yes, an ascension.
Now is the quiet, and a lack of lacking.
She's been waiting upon it, 
The inner peacefulness of restful non-existence.
Letting go, the end of tears, is best.


Those high hips of hers, those wide shoulders —
Filed down now by disease and sorrows, worn away.
After long suffering she's hollowed out, floats helplessly.
She's become oval, smooth, naked, open —
More naked, even, than nakedness itself.


Käthe has tried to keep herself for herself, but no longer.
The world has worn away.
The dark spirit has arrived.
Thus, her turn has come, thus.

Yes, death. … It is time to go.
She folds her hands and arms.
She folds herself into his sheathing sovereign arms,
Gives herself up to him, body to body.


Up from time, up into eternity
Death and she ascend,
Affíanced, gliding, amorous, yielding.
Thin, long, smooth and hairless,
They move together into form-dissolving space,
Consoling, it seems, one another.


    
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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-14 14:45:04
Poignant poetic commentary to inexorable death sparing no one, not even beautiful women. It has echoes, for me at least, of Dante’s “donna angelicata,” or the metamorphosis that Beatrice undergoes on in his mind upon her premature death at the tender age of 18. She in fact becomes an angel and a saint of heaven whom he will eventually meet again in his Paradiso as his second guide (an allegory of theology and revealed truth and Christian charity) leading him to the “still point” or God, the final destination of his long journey. Well done Larry.


Leah Sellers2013-02-16 05:57:08
Starkly honest and haunting piece, Sir. Thank you.


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