Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Her Passion

Her Passion
Thinking about Michelangelo's Pieta

If Mary could raise her marble-lidded eyes,
look up from her son's stilled face
and catch our distant gaze;
if she could coax some circulation
into the crook of her arm
where the slump of his shoulders
has set like a bow in the clouds
of her sculptured gown and flex her fingers
stiff with loss to beckon us;
if she could ease the weight of death
draped in stone across her breast to draw us in
and, raising his head, turn it aside from her
aching vigil to speak of her stigmata
the silver barcode of maternity
stretch-marked across her belly
what would she say to us, we mothers of sons
hell bent on challenging authority
and changing the world?

Elizabeth Brooke-Carr

Elizabeth Brooke-Carr is a Dunedin-based poet, novelist & friend.
Her Passion was first published as Monday's Poem in the Otago Daily Times, 2009

(Thank you, Ms Liz - x)


This is an open invitation to all bloggers & poets to post a poem on Tuesdays. In the words of Mary McCallum, who started the ball rolling, 'This is the blogosphere's equivalent of an open-mic night - as stimulating and as fun!'

If you'd like to join in, please leave a comment on any of the participating bloggers' sites; that way we can add links to your poem?

So far we have poets contributing from NZ and the US; if I've done my sums right, our Northern/Southern hemisphere span means that between us we have a 37 hr day. This implies that poems from here, there and everywhere have more time than usual to arrive! I love the idea of Roomy Tuesdays -


  1. When I look at the Pieta I will think of this poem- the volumes of motherhood. Thanks!

  2. An absolutely stunning and moving poem, Elisabeth. Just beautiful. Thank you.

  3. An extraordinary poem. Thanks for posting it. And how many of us reading it have stood just where Elizabeth stood, feeling tearful and awed?

  4. A beautiful poem from a beautiful poet.

  5. A fellow blogger is trying to find the author of these beautiful words:-


  6. This is a great poem.

    By chance I used a memory of this sculpture and "fed it" into a long poem I wrote. Not sure where it is...

    And it is a superb sculpture.

  7. Dear Fifi, Vespersparrow, Pen, Kay, gz and Richard

    A message to you from Elizabeth...

    "I would be delighted if you would respond on my behalf to the people who have left comments in response to "Her Passion". Perhaps you could tell them that I am a covert follower of many of their blogs and love reading all the wonderful reflections that are posted. Now I have nervously joined the blog sphere courtesy of you and Tuesday's poem and have been touched by the various ways people have responded. The affirmations are warm strokes indeed but to think that people actually take the time out of their busy lives to post encouraging comments is heady stuff for a reticent writer. Enough to entice her into becoming a blogger herself, perhaps.

    Thanks to you all. Elizabeth"

    Thank YOU, Elizabeth. I'm sure I speak for us all with this encouragement - 'Please let us know when your blog is up and running?'

    L, Claire

  8. thank you for your blog comment!
    I'll try to join the Tuesday group, but I'm very vernacular and raw.... hope that's alright...

  9. Elizabeth - it is not necessary to look at (say) my Blog - the point is your poem gave me a great value. I probably read things into it hat I liked but that is o.k. And you don't need to start a Blog - I actually started my own by accident - thinking I was signing on to make comment once. Then I started doing a project (EYELIGHT) I had envisioned before I even thought of having a computer.

    The problem with getting comments is that there is so much going on in cyberspace and elsewhere.

    (I feel good when I get comments, even negative ones* - we all like to be noticed.)

    And thanks to Claire also.

    Cheers, Richard

    * I have even used really abusive comments in the texts of my other posts !
    But - at least two fascinating poems on here.

  10. Re the sculpture I have only seen it in book I got by chance of Michelangelo's art.

    I was fascinated by the description of it in that book.
    The artist has deliberately distorted the size of or the proportions of Mary vs. Jesus - and other things - I forget exactly how or why -I read about it some time ago.

    But this is a great poem inspired by great art!

  11. Dear Melissa - it will be wonderful to have you joining in with poems on Tuesdays. Welcome to the 'family' - am glad that you have come... and it IS so very good to know that you're on the mend. L, C

  12. Richard - thanks; i like the way you reinforce the relationship between great art and great poetry. It's a dynamic conversation, that's for sure! Take care, Claire