Mending the Net
After Thomas Eakins, Mending the Net, 1881
The scene is mostly sky and grass, and yet
the eye leaps to the people on the hill,
bent at work upon the broken net,
painted so well the mind hurries to fill
the frozen frame with movement: busy hands
and shaking heads. The young girls skip and tease
as seabirds rise up from the unseen sands
and someone comes with lunch: beer, bread and cheese.
But if you look more carefully the sky
is colored an unlikely shade of blue—
not daylight bright but dusk, and this is why
the figures stand out. Thomas Eakins knew
to lie his way to truth. This works for art
and poetry. And matters of the heart.