(Manet Within)
A Frame of Reference

“My painting must resemble the world in order to evoke its mystery.”
René Magritte

They do look oddly
wooden, self-
enclosed: dolls on a shelf.
Composed in isolation
and assembled to no purpose but display
three discrete portraits show as many styles.
The fourth, from murk at back, bears brightness:

the pretext of a tea-set
or perhaps coffee, something to justify this klatch.
Right, that might serve to rouse Berthe
– emphatic in the foreground
at her Browning pose:
despairing, rapt in inspiration
or dead-bored.

And yes, a demitasse could stir
daguerrotype Antoine
from stuffed puffery
but why is sketchy Fanny
– ready with her brolly –
drawing on those gloves?
Note Manet's floral corner;

almost postal, it's
re-stamped upon the coffined Magritte
– surely no swipe at the past
for few pictures are stranger
than The Lunch on the Grass
ot this, with its distant glitter from Goya: The Balcony
where La Morisot holds a distracted Maja’s fan.

©1999, 2011 Katherine Anne Harris. All Rights Reserved.

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