Homage to Hieronymus Bosch
A woman with no face walked into the light;
A boy, in a brown-tree norfolk suit,
To her seeming skirt.
And he stopped,
And I, in terror, stopped, staring.
Then I saw a group of shadowy figures behind her.
It was a wild wet morning
But the little world was spinning on.
Liplessly, somehow, she addressed it:
The book must be opened
And the park too.
I might have tittered
But my teeth chattered
And I saw that the words, as they fell,
Lay, wriggling, on the ground.
There was a stir of wet wind
And the shadowy figures began to stir
When one I had thought dead
Filmed slowly out of his great effigy on a tomb near by
And they all shuddered
He bent as if to speak to the woman
But the nursery governor flew up out of the well of Saint Patrick,
Confiscated by his mistress,
And, his head bent,
Staring out over his spectacles,
And scratching the gravel furiously, Hissed -
The words went pingg! like bullets,
Upwards, past his spectacles
Say nothing, I say, say nothing, say nothing!
And he who had seemed to be coming to life
Began hysterically, to laugh and cry,
And, with a gesture of impotent and half-petulant despair,
Filmed back into his effigy again.
High above the Bank of Ireland
Unearthly music sounded,
Then, from the drains,
Small sewage rats slid out.
They numbered hundreds of hundreds, tens, thousands.
Each bowed obsequiously to the shadowy figures
Then turned and joined in a stomach dance with his brothers and sisters.
Being a multitude, they danced irregularly.
There was rat laughter, Deeper here and there,
And occasionally she-rats grew hysterical.
The shadowy figures looked on, agonized.
The woman with no face gave a cry and collapsed.
The rats danced on her
And on the wriggling words
The nursery governor flew back into the well
With the little figure without hands in the brown-tree clothes.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Homage to Hieronymus Bosch by Thomas MacGreevy )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Love, Sarah Flower Adams
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Andhere Kaa Deepak, Harivansh Rai Bachchan
- Best Friend (In Hindi), Tavneet Singh
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Question, Robert Frost
Poem of the Day
- Thank the love gift me the verses by Ra.., Yuri Starostin
- पूनम का चांंद.............., sanjay kumar maurya
- An Angelic Figure, Ahmad Husain
- And the Trains Go On, Philip Levine
- Hair-raising, hafiz qasim
- Desperadoes, gajanan mishra
- Beatific, Naveed Khalid
- Bed of lust, Gerald Obinna
- The Traveling Onion, Naomi Shihab Nye
- Stuff I Love, Emily Liang