Elizabeth Jennings

(20 July 1926 – 25 October 2001 / Boston, Lincolnshire, England)

Rembrandt's Late Self-Portraits - Poem by Elizabeth Jennings

You are confronted with yourself. Each year
The pouches fill, the skin is uglier.
You give it all unflinchingly. You stare
Into yourself, beyond. Your brush's care
Runs with self-knowledge. Here

Is a humility at one with craft.
There is no arrogance. Pride is apart
From this self-scrutiny. You make light drift
The way you want. Your face is bruised and hurt
But there is still love left.

Love of the art and others. To the last
Experiment went on. You stared beyond
Your age, the times. You also plucked the past
And tempered it. Self-portraits understand,
And old age can divest,

With truthful changes, us of fear of death.
Look, a new anguish. There, the bloated nose,
The sadness and the joy. To paint's to breathe,
And all the darknesses are dared. You chose
What each must reckon with.


Comments about Rembrandt's Late Self-Portraits by Elizabeth Jennings

  • (5/18/2018 7:43:00 AM)


    i luv the poem. this will surely help me with my summer project. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • (4/27/2017 5:36:00 AM)


    Pride is apart from this self-scrutiny implies that people should be interested in compassion and humanity, and not beauty and physical appearance.
    Despite bruised and hurt faces, there is still love left for people of old age.
    You chose what what each must reckon with encourages us to decide between living honestly by acknowledging the bloated nose or succumbing to the devastations caused to us when our life is plucked at viciously.
    This poem may be about the emotional rollercoaster of anguish and joy that both poets ant painters experience when creating their works.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/14/2015 8:27:00 AM)


    ..To paint's to breathe,
    And all the darknesses are dared..

    a captivating imagery of the art of painting. Thanks PH
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015



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