hb_19.164

Pieter Bruegel, The Harvesters, 1565 (oil on wood)

 

 

Richard Foerster

Though they stoop and sweat
outside a stingy circle
that the pear tree affords …though the mustardy sheaves
of their morning’s labor
lie stiff in their ranks as battle-tallied dead . . . and though
the tree itself, coiling
ungracefully heavenward, pasta blue steeple, splits
their world with its axis,
here is Eden after allwhich the artist makes
us contemplate
by planting in the foregroundthat husky, unkempt reaper
with his legs splayed wide,
forcing our gaze crotchward,to the solid drowse
of his codpiece so casually
unlaced, while another,nearby, holding summer-
ripe fruit firmly to his lips,
stares out at us, and eats.

~~~~~~

 

William Carlos Williams

Summer !
the painting is organized
about a young

reaper enjoying his
noonday rest
completely

relaxed
from his morning labors
sprawled

in fact sleeping
unbuttoned
on his back

the women
have brought him his lunch
perhaps

a spot of wine
they gather gossiping
under a tree

whose shade
carelessly
he does not share the

resting
center of
their workaday world

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