Cloister Graveyard in the Snow by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) 
Cloister Graveyard in the Snow, 1810 Oil on Canvas, 
approximately 47 x 70 in. Painting destroyed during World War II


Cloister Graveyard in the Snow 


by Beth Houston





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—Friedrich, c. 1810

In dead of winter, bare trees frame the snow
Shrouded graveyard, strewn dead branches, crosses,
Stark slow funeral procession bearing woe
Through the narrow archway of all losses
To its consummation devoutly death
Wished, its sluggish lust entering the hole
Called time’s passage, spilling like a last breath
Into the open grave’s harsh, silent toll,
The cathedral’s gothic ruins looming,
Their grandest tombstone. The painting haunts still
In a photo ghostly with its glooming
Romantic self-fulfilling overkill —
The painting slashed by death’s ghastliest knife
In World War II: Almost art almost life.

 Woman at the Well


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