Three Ages of Woman

Gustav Klimt was an amazing artist. Controversial perhaps, but for colour, texture, and pattern his work is magisterial. There is an extravagance and playfulness about his work that is unique.

His work “The Three Ages of Woman” inspired me to write a poem on the theme.

foetus-like the young girl curls
snug in her mother’s folds
the growing girl crowning her unhurried mind
with full potential of her womanhood

nursing her blessed child
distilling within her mother’s milk
her legacy of strength and grace
resolve and tenderness of womanhood full grown

the old woman sighs at the loss of her long-term mate
head bowed under the weight of weariness and despair
wisdom etched deep in her wrinkled face
and sagging breasts symbols of womanhood fulfilled

My words are in response to Klimt’s image, not a reflection of a particular stance on ‘womanhood’. I would take issue with any belief that only child-bearing fulfills a woman’s ‘potential’. Nor that only a woman can nurture a child. There are so many potentially contentious issues at play here; suffice it to say, I admire the skill behind the artwork, and it inspired me to write at a time when putting pen to paper did not come easily.

Do you have a particular artist who inspires you? What is it about them that you admire? Or that gets you thinking? Please like and share my words if you have enjoyed them.
Thank you for reading.

Marilyn X