February is drawing to a close and since I will be practically offline for the remaining days, my final blogpost for this month is a short and very evocative poem by Derek Walcott, my favourite contemporary poet. I have on previous occasions posted other poems by him (here and here), and he is one of my go-to poets when I need something that's suitable for any occasion.
Cosimo I de Medici in armour (c.1545)
By Agnolo Bronzino (1503-72)
Courtesy of Wikimedia
Genderers of furies, crouching, slavering beasts
those paps that gave me suck! His dragonish scales
are velvet-sheated, even at those feasts
are coiling tongues. Lust has not soured
that milky stomach. Something more than love
myfather lacked which God will not approve:
a savage sundering sword, vile to the touch
breeding fidelity by its debauch.
Calm, she reclines on her maternal couch,
knitting revenge and lechery in my head.
I ease the sword, and, like her victim, quaking,
I, in my father, stalk my father's dread.
- Printed in The Castaway, 1969, Jonathan Cape ltd.