#poem #poetry #amwriting sketchbook death of seneca

I have become rather obsessed with this picture

the death of seneca

in particular the face of the scribe

what has seneca said that so shocks her
all around are calm
dutifully observing the dying of a great man
but she carries the expression
of horrified despair
so bold impassioned
that the viewer is drawn to the scene
through her eyes


ok, ok I know I have unsexed the scribe, and that if you look at the scribes arms he is clearly male - or a muscly woman - but there is something very feminine in the skin tones


surely even one so young
cannot have been shielded
from the politics of rome
but perhaps it is the callousness
of the order or the dawning
moment when affairs correct
the withered old man
makes the final withering gesture
to feed the blood triumphant
in an age of murder


listen and learn - that explains
the expression of the scribe

so busy with edicts and letters
for whom so many have bled

now faced with the dutiful act
the jaw opens with the vein
as the stuffed pig does not bleed



The Blue Book

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