Les Littleford

Rookie (25 April 1943 / Warwickshire, England)

Documentary


Flickering from the silent screen
Edwardian gentlemen
surround a central figure,
smiling,
laughing,
doing his every bidding.
Sharing the clouds of smoke
in Keystone Cops movements.
But this is no farce,
and they no mere acolytes.

For this is August Renoire
around whom they flutter,
and they are crucial
partners in the game.
For look closely,
see those hands,
cruelly misshaped
arthritic talons,
claws,
in which they place and replace
brushes,
cigarettes,
[surely Gauloise]
and he,
the master,
dabs and dabs in seeming frantic haste.

So much to paint.
So little time.

“Pourquoi? ”
one wants to ask.
Why suffer the anguish,
the pain?
“Parce que, ”
comes back the reply,
flickering down the decades.
“Because the pain passes,
But the beauty remains.”

Submitted: Friday, September 27, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 27, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

After watching an amazing, black and white, old documentary about Renoir

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