Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poet Donna Pauley's Mirror, Mirror



The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

ARTlines Ekphrastic Poetry Competition 


FPL Poetry Series featured poet, Donna Pauley, was one of the winners of the inaugural ekphrastic poetry competition (Ekphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art) for Artlines/Public Poetry in Houston headed by Fran Sanders and co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston (MFAH). It was judged by the current Texas Poet Laureate, Jan Seale, as well as two former Laureates, Dave Parsons and Paul Ruffin, together with well know Texas poets, Carmen Tafolla, and Van G. Garrett. The reading by all nine contest winners (one for each artwork) was held in Brown Auditorium at the MFAH. Each poem was recorded and is available to listen on the cell phone tour for visitors of the MFAH. The reading in Brown Auditorium was video- taped for educational classes to use in the Kinder Education Center.


Unknown maker
(Italian or American)
Mirror (one of a pair)
Early 19th century
Red pine, paint, and gilding, The Rienzi
Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris
Masterson III, 96.1355.1.



Honorable Mention
Donna Pauley (Manvel, TX) 



Mirror Mirror 



What faces have been reflected in this glass?
The artisan, of course, his smug visage
admiring his own handiwork of
carved red pine and gilded paint
as he first hung it on the wall,
his wife smoothing a dark errant curl
slipping loose from her elegant comb,
his young son standing on tippy-toe to find
his brown eyes looking back in surprise.
Countless other faces in the ensuing years:
grave gentlemen straightening their collars,
pretty girls making moues with their soft pink mouths,
grand dames silently aghast at what the
passing years have done to their images,
and then,
the delighted O of the curator’s mouth
as she unpacks the splendid piece of art,
the admiring glances of the museum patrons
as they tuck hands deep in pockets
resisting the urge to reach out and touch
the intricately carved cornucopia.





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