ON SEEING PICASSO’S GUERNICA FOR THE FIRST TIME – a poem by Mel Goldberg 

ON SEEING PICASSO’S GUERNICA FOR THE FIRST TIME

Picasso’s Guernica took me aback —
his masterpiece against the dread of war —
starkly painted in blue and white and black
its bleak immensity a metaphor
for senseless killing. It gripped me as I stared,
then fell upon my knees, hands clasped, and sobbed.
Something in me had broken, my soul bared
to agony, my very senses robbed.
Some spectral substance in the paint he used
intruded on my spirit and left me
weeping upon the floor while disabused
of everything my tear-filled eyes might see.
The guard came, touched my shoulder with her hand,
said, “Es bueno llorar,” and helped me stand.

.

After earning his Master’s Degree, Mel Goldberg taught literature in California, Illinois, Arizona, and at Stanground College in Cambridgeshire, England.
After an early retirement, he and his artist wife traveled in a motorhome for seven years throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. They currently live on a small income in Mexico.

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