Tag Archives: Richard Foerster


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

from his morning labors

in fact sleeping
on his back

the women
have brought him his lunch

a spot of wine
they gather gossiping
under a tree

whose shade
he does not share the

center of
their workaday world