Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dali and Donne on the Ascension

Artists across the ages have taken on the challenge of representing the Ascension of Jesus (which we celebrate this weekend), both in image and in words.  Above is Salvador Dali's painting of this event; below, verses by John Donne on the theme.  

Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,
Ye whose true tears, or tribulation
Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay.
Behold, the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the dark clouds, which he treads upon;
Nor doth he by ascending show alone,
But first He, and He first enters the way.
O strong Ram, which has batter’d heaven for me!
Mild lamb, which with Thy Blood has mark’d the path!
Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see!
O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath;
And if Thy Holy Spirit my Muse did raise,
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.

--John Donne, La Coruna, 1618

For an analysis of both the image and the poem above, click here:  “Understanding the Ascension through Art.”

No comments:

Post a Comment