Christine Perrin & Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico: Adoration
Fra Angelico’s Adoration, San Marco, Florence
by Christine Perrin
In this scene, it is still the beginning, though inches below
the festival of discovery, gouged into the wall, is the man in the tomb
with death tools—sopping sponge and spear.
Angelico has juxtaposed his bloody Son of Man to the infant—
blood spills his ropy veined inner-arms where the tender flesh is pale
and the mica-flecked wall glitters like the surface of the moon.
In this season and region the olive trees are heavy with dark fruit;
all one afternoon I gathered them with my hands to be crushed.
You have to grasp the bitter flesh-pits and drop them in a net,
Beyond the near-winter fields only the hour bells carried
over the gulf from high city to shadowed valley.
The monk who woke and slept and filled his eyes
with this bright painting all his days, did he see the end
in the beginning: an arc, an arrow, a shape in nature?
Did its heart-tip burn the mark like a black candle in dull noon?
My sight searches and searches, as though to go to Him.
So many buried lamps. What shall I take for a witness?
Angelico’s blue? Fruit breaking loose from a tree?
The guard’s heavy footfall on the stone floor? Words he spoke
in a tongue I could not understand, when I broke into song
to sound the cell, to hear the empty chamber answer.
Christine Perrin holds a B.A. in Writing Seminars from JohnsHopkinsUniversity and an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) from the University of Maryland, where she concentrated in poetry. Christine has taught literature and poetry at JohnsHopkinsUniversity and MessiahCollege, as well as the Gordon in Orvieto program. She has also taught poetry at various K-12 schools, teaching at every level and consults with schools on literature curricula. Christine has published many poems in publications such as Image Magazine, The Sewanee Review, TriQuarterly, Christianity and Literature, The New England Review and many others. She has twice received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.
More:- November 2023: Luci Shaw & Botticelli
- March 2023: Jill Baumgaertner & Liviu Mocan
- September 2022: The Uncompleted Man
- March 2022: Annukka Laine
- January 2022: Megan Fisher
- November 2021: Luci Shaw & Worku Goshu
- September 2021: Pádraig Ó Tuama & Leo G. Franchi
- May 2021: Malcolm Guite & Unknown
- January 2021: Emily Dickinson & Henri Matisse
- December 2020: Allan Boesak & Harm Visser
- June 2020: Luci Shaw & Sebastian Wien
- November 2019: Dennis O’Driscoll & David Robinson
- June 2019: C.S. Lewis & Wayne Adams
- May 2019: Malcolm Guite & Andrea Mantegna: Ascension
- May 2019: Denise Levertov & Ernst Barlach
- October 2018: Sándor Reményik & Ildikó Mecséri
- August 2018: Abigail Carroll & Caravaggio
- May 2018: Bohuslav Reynek: Poet and Visual Artist
- March 2018: George MacDonald & James Ensor
- January 2018: Wendell Berry & Annukka Laine
- November 2017: Mary Oliver & Pauline Baynes
- August 2017: Ellyn Maybe & Pablo Picasso
- April 2017: Lucy Shaw & Henry Ossawa Tanner
- April 2017: Denise Levertov & Diego Velazquez
- February 2017: David L. Hatton & David L. Hatton
- November 2016: Dennis ODriscoll & David Robinson
- June 2016: Luci Shaw & Marietha Smit
- April 2016: Robert Browning & Pauline Baynes
- March 2016: Wendell Berry & Carol Aust
- January 2016: Dante G. Rossetti & Dante G. Rossetti
- December 2015: Sufjan Stevens & Geertgen tot Sint Jans
- September 2015: Thomas Merton & Andre Racz
- June 2015: Frances Bellerby & Jeltje Hoogenkamp
- March 2015: Christine Perrin & Ted Prescott
- January 2015: Jan Krist & Gor Chahal
- December 2014: Sufjan Stevens & Geertgen tot Sint Jans
- November 2014: David L. Hatton & David L. Hatton
- July 2014: Chris Lorensson & Dylan Clements
- June 2014: Jonathan Evens & Henry Shelton
- April 2014: Gerlind Krause & Worku Goshu
- April 2014: Christine Perrin & Michelangelo
- February 2014: David Hatton & Angelo da Fonseca
- January 2014: James Weldon Johnson & Aaron Douglas
- January 2014: Hannah Main-van der Kamp & Liviu Mocan
- December 2013: Luci Shaw & Botticelli
- November 2013: Christine Perrin & Luca Signorelli
- October 2013: Hannah Main-van der Kamp & Tanja Butler
- October 2013: James Weldon Johnson & Aaron Douglas
- October 2013: Marilyn Chandler McEntyre & Johannes Vermeer
- September 2013: The Renewal of Ekphrasis by John Skillen