the painting of Mary Cassatt
I am delving, once again, into ekphrastic poetry. I was quite intrigued to learn that the famous painter Mary Cassatt and I share an ancestor: Jacques Cossart who arrived in America in 1662, settling with his family in New Amsterdam, now New York City.
The young mother sits in a chair
strangely intent on her stitching fingers
as her young daughter,
perched across her lap,
stares idly at the artist.
The silence of the scene
mimics the silence of the canvas,
the thread pulling through the cloth making no sound.
Mary Cassatt, a grand dame of Impressionism,
who never bore a child of her own,
was obsessed with painting mothers and daughters,
reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance Madonnas
she had seen on European travels as a young girl.
She vowed early never to marry,
to devote her life to art, only art.
Even when her father refused to ...