Romare Bearden’s Khayam and the Black Girl (1971)

Romare Bearden’s Khayam and the Black Girl (1971)

For his take on “Quatrain XI” of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Bearden transports Omar Khayyám Old World Persia to New World Tropics f. Though the poem suggests sensuality, Bearden presents the poet clothed but the woman naked, except for a body sash and a head...

Auden’s “Thunder at a Picnic” (1965c.)

When Auden was twenty-four and just starting as a poet, he placed himself on the lower slope of Mount Parnassus, sacred to Apollo and the Muses of the arts, where he might find his place at a  “picnic on the lower slopes” with minor poets.  Thirty-plus years later,...
Christina Rossetti’s “At Home” (1858)

Christina Rossetti’s “At Home” (1858)

Rossetti’s “At Home” (1858) was originally titled “After the Picnic.” Her brother Dante Rossetti thought picnics were frivolous and insisted a change. Ms. Rossetti complied. It’s known Rossetti composed the poem after attending a...
Charles Bukowski’s “Some Picnic ” (1979)

Charles Bukowski’s “Some Picnic ” (1979)

Charles Bukowski’s “Some Picnic ” is mean-spirited –what a picnic ought not to be. I rank it among the most unpleasant and psychologically cruel. When Bukowski says he, his girlfriend Jane, and his parents picnicked and “made a...
Alfred Tennyson’s “Audley Court” (1838)

Alfred Tennyson’s “Audley Court” (1838)

The picnic in Tennyson’s fictional “Audley Court” is so appealing that real people search for it to have a picnic there. As the narrator describes it, he and his friend Francis Hale have packed a picnic. They have not seen one another for years and their expectations...
Virgil’s Aeneid (19/29 BCE)

Virgil’s Aeneid (19/29 BCE)

Virgil’s Aeneid tells the story that when Aeneas and his troop landed in Latium, they were so hungry they ate the thick slices of stale bread that served as trenchers. According to prophecy, this meant they had reached the place to build a new Troy. Though this first...
Agatha Christie’s Poems(1973)

Agatha Christie’s Poems(1973)

Casual readers usually neglect Christie’s poems collected in 1973. Unlike the Marple or Poirot mysteries, her poems such as “Picnic 11960” provide glimpses of her inner life. Christie never lost her sense of her good life. She seems satisfied and...