An Illumination

Poem by Claudia Gary

The Castle of Muiden in Winter, by Jan Beerstraten (1622-1666), in the National Gallery, London, at

Before the Internet, Id never seen

the angels, faces, roses, in this sky

that dominates the canvas on my screen.

Before it was lit up I wondered why

heaven appeared so gray and nondescript

above a scene of cheerful diligence

where skaters skimmed the ice and never slipped.

Not one collision hinders their good sense.

They twirl about a castle dark and stately

whose frozen moat accommodates their play,

and whose interior (as Ive learned lately)

was filled with literati in their day:

the Muiderkring, which was this heavens source,

its earthly linkunclickable, of course.