Guernica

 

 

Guernica

The silent screams
Of people and beasts
Still, but still they echo through the ages

The canvas does not absorb the grief
The paint cannot gloss over the pain
The marks made never fade, these lines remain eternal

Look beyond shading of grey
War, death, it is black and white
Colour drained away that April morning

Shapes Symbols Ciphers
Seared into memory
See them, forever trapped

The Bull’s tail in flames
The broken body bearing a broken sword
The dead eyed baby limp in her arms

Tungsten filament encased in fine glass
Eclipses the spring sunlight
Things unnatural are in this sky

He looks up above
To the falling metal hell, not the heaven
He is consumed by fire

Bombs for their brothers
Timed for monday’s market
Kin killed at their country’s request

These dark shades foreshadow
Yet darker days
These black eagles will spread their wings

‘Did you do this?’ the occupying officers challenge the painter, mockingly
‘No, you did’ the artist replied

His heart and soul sinks, war will never end
His heart and soul soars, art will never die

anna jones ©2017

Guernica is a mural-sized oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The painting, which uses a palette of grey, black, and white, is regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.

The painting was created in 1937 in response to the bombing of Guernica earlier that year. Hundreds of civilians in the Basque village in northern Spain lost their lives, bombed by Nazi German and Fascist Italian warplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists.

 

 

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