Jonah and Leviathan

Thinking of the Breugel image that I used for April Fool’s Day, or Le Poisson d’Avril, yesterday I was reminded of a similar image from the artist Bo Bartlet. I’m a great admirer of Mr. Bartlet. I find his work powerful and inspiring: full of beauty, and more importantly, full of sublimity. There is a Romantic power in his work that few contemporary artists can claim. Coming out of Passion Sunday and entering into Holy Week, I’m also reminded of the grave imagery of Leviathan (above) and in Bartlet’s Jonah. Imagery of  the Israelites walking through the Red Sea or Jonah in the belly of the whale remind us of the reading of the Passion narrative from Palm Sunday.

Bartlet’s paintings Leviathan and Jonah were my inspiration for the poem below.

Jonah and Leviathan

What is it like
To die
Beneath the sea?

What is it like
To have pearls for eyes?

Do small fish hide
In your hair?

What is it like
In the belly of the whale
When the pike slices through?


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