Day 20: Silhouettes Against the Sky

Les Silhouettes

By Oscar Wilde 1
    THE sea is flecked with bars of grey
    The dull dead wind is out of tune,
    And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay.
    Etched clear upon the pallid sand
    The black boat lies: a sailor boy
    Clambers aboard in careless joy
With laughing face and gleaming hand.
    And overhead the curlews cry,
    Where through the dusky upland grass
    The young brown-throated reapers pass,
Like silhouettes against the sky.

Questions & Actions

  •  If you haven’t already, read the poem carefully and then reflect on the painting. Take the painting in on the largest screen you can.
  • This painting marks a shift in Winslow’s art, away from narrative subjects and towards pure and elemental subjects. 2 The rocks. The waves. The animated and yet inanimate power in creation. We’ve spent considerable time reflecting on the animate parts of creation–all its creeping and crawling. But what of the rest of creation? What does it say to us, and reveal of God? Spend a moment in prayerful reflection and share your thoughts below.
  • To go even deeper, consider Luke 19:40, where Jesus says even rocks will speak and testify of God. Read Luke 19:28-44, then consider how creation, even non-living creation, speaks of God. Share your thoughts below.

Notes:

  1. Oscar Wilde. Poems. Boston: Robert Brothers, 1881; Bartleby.com, 1999.
  2. cf. Google Cultural Institute
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