Mary Loeffelholz: On "A Mona Lisa"
"A Mona Lisa," which Grimké did publish, can be read both as a poem about the painting and a love poem. "I should like to creep / Through the long brown grasses / That are your lashes," the speaker begins, but she fears the outcome may be drowning, leaving "only white bones / Wavering back and forth" in the beloved's eyes. Traditionally, the famous women of Western art are assumed to pose for (beckon to, or hide their secrets from) desiring male eyes. This poem imagines a different possibility, that the Mona Lisa's mysterious gaze invites another woman, but the poem's ending implies that this possibility is uncertain, perhaps threatening.
|Title||Mary Loeffelholz: On "A Mona Lisa"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Mary Loeffelholz||Criticism Target||Angelina Weld Grimké|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||15 Jun 2020|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||Experimental Lives: Women and Literature, 1900-1945|
|Printer Friendly||View||PDF Version||View|
|Contexts||No Data||Tags||No Data|