Still Life with Strawberries (Adriaen Coorte, 1705)
Coorte painted them on paper, pasted to a panel,
white points of seeds on red and fleshly beds;
slim stems rise against a dark they channel
and issue pontifical flower heads.
The blooms hold light as though pulsing the hour,
the small white petals of the strawberry flower.
A berry-stem bends and points, an armature
bowing obeisance to Coorte’s signature
as if it knows that below, tabled on stone,
down where both flower and painter wend,
an image of engraving makes them his alone;
he holds their origin, imprimatur, end.
Susan de Sola’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, American Arts Quarterly, Measure, River Styx, The Raintown Review, Tilt-a-Whirl, Light Quarterly, Per Contra, Fringe Magazine, The New Verse News and Ambit, among other venues. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American literature from The Johns Hopkins University, and has published scholarly essays as Susan de Sola Rodstein. She is a David Reid Poetry Translation Prize winner. She lives near Amsterdam with her family.