Menu

Poetry

In Anselm Kiefer’s Am Anfang
A ladder rises like a DNA helix
Out of the seething flux, an ocean
Of broken glass, shattered light,
The bonds just barely linking there,
Chiral, as yet un-living, into proto-
Membrane, proto-cell, accreting
In the sugary stew of their forming,
The nucleotides surging tidal
As they begin to spiral upward
Into sediment mats of microbes
Spreading darkly other-ward
From deep-sea vent and scree,
The mechanism assembling,
Emerging by gathering back all
That was crossed before, enzyme
And polymer, the chemical
Adamic clay, so the proteins
Fold in their blind self-knowing
Growing out of their sulfur world,
Self-ordering into the ever new,
Autocatalysis or code: Word
Imprinted in pigment, palette,
The widening span, singular
Dance of many into the artist’s
Lattice-work through clouds,
Chain by miraculous chain
And everything unrepeatable,
Himself hidden, withdrawn
From what’s been drawn, drawn
Out of itself into un-walled horizon,
Now and now and now, light
Lifted into light beyond the frame.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

close up image of old wooden chairs lined against tables

Trilogy

By

B.H. Fairchild

Mappamundi Ouroboros

By

Bruce Beasley

image of a woman standing with her back to the camera, in front of a bicycle. she is visible from the waist up. in front of her is a long river, and the opposite bank is full of buildings for a city. a man on a bike is in the far right distance, blurred out. the woman is lit up by a patch of golden light in an otherwise greenish blue image of dusk.

You Enter That Light

By

Cintio Vitier

Goodbye

By

Franz Wright

Pin It on Pinterest