Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gregory Corso - Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo
- painting by Theodoricus

Inside the wounded hands and feet
the fragments of earlier wounds (almost healed)
like black almonds crusted
are answer enough--
the nails went thru the man to God.

The crown of thorns (a superb idea!)
and the sidewound (an atrocity!)
only penetrate the man.

I have seen many paintings of this;
the same inflictions,
subject of proof; ecce signum
the same sad face;
I have forgotten them all.
O Theodoricus, youth, vagueness, my fault; yet yours!
What a grief! this
impossible to forget.

(Here is a poem by one of the youngest Beat writers, Gregory Corso. The King James translation of the Bible indicates the phrase "ecce homo," means "Behold the man!" According to Wikipedia, it is the phrase Pontius Pilate uttered upon seeing Jesus and his crown of thorns. I could not find the Theordoricus painting anywhere online, so instead I used one from Wikipedia.)

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