Aida Schneider   © 2011 All Rights Reserved


Even when a storm is brewing in Poussin
the surfaces of ponds retain a calm, unbroken blue,
and robes, primary greens and reds and yellows, worn
by the main figures, spread left and right, anchoring the view,

balancing without repeating. Plains climb, divide—
buildings shrink, then whiten, puffing like stalled clouds,
which rise but seem never to have moved, as stiff

as linen, just as the figures seem, less caught than bound—
aloof, not frozen—insular, detached. As if
there were no time or what there was remained outside

the changing weather, and passion couldn’t carry
you off like faint bells or smells, a puff
or pulse. As if Poussin had never lived
among us, the gray, noisy and ordinary.


Mark Halperin
Copyright © 2011  

Mark Halperin has published five volumes of poetry, most recently, Falling Through the Music, (Notre Dame 2007), is co-author of Accent on Meter (NCTE), and co-translator of A Million Premonitions, poems from the Russian of Viktor Sosnora (Zephyr Press).

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