“Between Klimt and Giacometti” by Hélène Cardona


Between Klimt and Giacometti


Hélène Cardona

A room inhabited by paintings
seizes my mind, fluid unpredictable
lives, their secret eliciting
attention, Klimt’s innate aesthetic,
linear statements without tonality.
Their spontaneity transmits essential wisdom.
Dark eye shapes, dominant lip lines, upturned
corner of mouth, eyelashes and iris
connected, vine charcoal ready to tumble
like a Giacometti. Soft focus and impressive
looseness enhance anatomy,
allow latitude for creativity.
Every wall is a beginning.


A citizen of the United States, France and Spain, Hélène Cardona is fluent in English, French, Spanish, German, Greek, and Italian. A poet, literary translator, actor, and dream analyst, Hélène is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Hemingway Grant and the USA Best Book Award. Her books include three bilingual poetry collections, most recently Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016) and Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013), and two translations, Beyond Elsewhere (by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press, 2016) and Ce que nous portons (by Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne, 2014). With Yves Lambrecht she co-tranlsated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb.

[The above poem was originally published in The Warwick Review and appears in Life in Suspension. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.]

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