Heavy Is the Root of Light

by Dana Delibovi

When I first saw Helen Frankenthaler’s painting Grey Fireworks, I saw it naively. I had no familiarity with Frankenthaler (1928–2011), her New York pedigree, or her devoted following. I did not know her reputation for unstudied hipness. I hadn’t even gone to see her retrospective on purpose. I just went to the Museum of Modern Art as I often did back then, in the midst of my own personal earthquake of 1989, the year it finally became clear that I could not feed my obsessions and expect to survive. Continue reading “Heavy Is the Root of Light”

The Poesy and the Ecstasy

by Dana Delibovi

I spent ten days in Rome, one summer during college. I walked the Via Appia, heard opera in the Terme di Caracalla. I drank a lot of wine, which never seemed to get me drunk the way the stuff stateside did. I fell in love—well, in lust—hourly.

Of course, I saw the visual arts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Some of these works transfixed me, among them the sculpture in marble, Ecstasy of St. Teresa (1652), by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. This work shows the young saint lolling back in a moan, while a smiling angel readies himself to pierce her with an arrow. The sexual energies of the sculpture are so strong, it’s a wonder it made it into the Roman Catholic church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (only in Italy, where beauty beats dogma hands down). I count my memory of the sculpture as a jewel, although of late, a poem has illuminated its flaws. Continue reading “The Poesy and the Ecstasy”

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