Summer Scene

7:00 AM

Jean-Frederic Bazille, Summer Scene, 1869

Gay Chaps At the Bar
by Gwendolyn Brooks

We knew how to order. Just the dash
Necessary. The length of gayety in good taste.
Whether the raillery should be slightly iced
and given green, or served up hot and lush.
And we knew beautifully how to give to women
The summer spread, the tropics, of our love.
When to persist, or hold a hunger off.
Knew white speech. How to make a look an omen.
But nothing ever taught us to be islands.
And smart athletic language for this hour
Was not in the curriculum. No stout
Lesson showed hot to chat with death. We brought
No brass fortissimo, among our talents,
To holler down the lions in this air,

Editor's Note: Students were asked to match a poem of their choice with a painting of their choice. The relationship between the two shall be determined by the viewer/reader.

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