I’m delighted to welcome one of my favourite poets, Phil Vernon, to talk about El Tres de Mayo from his new collection, Poetry after Auschwitz.
El Tres de Mayo appears as the second poem in my collection Poetry After Auschwitz. A common theme in my poetry is the exploration of connections, often sensed, rather than seen, between people and peoples across time and place. El Tres de Mayo refers particularly to the connections between past, present and future, and how these are facilitated by or linked to the dynamic environment we share, down the centuries.
At first sight it seems to be an ekphrastic poem, inspired by Goya’s famous painting El Tres de Mayo, which depicts the execution by firing squad of Madrileños in the aftermath of their failed uprising against the Napoleonic military occupation in 1808. Art historian Kenneth Clarke described this painting as…
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