AMEDEO MODIGLIANI - THE LITTLE PEASANT (c. 1918)
Modigliani: The Little Peasant
What’s he thinking of, sitting there?
He’s thinking of a girl,
She who makes cheese and butter in the next farm.
I think he’s waiting for the horsemen
To come from the stables.
They’re to take him for a pint or two at the inn.
Is he remembering the circus
That passed through, in April,
An elephant, clowns, a drummer?
I think he’s been cutting barley all day.
His eyes are sore
With sun, scythe-flashings, corn dust.
Tomorrow, the setting up of stooks.
No: when (he wonders)
Will the farmer’s wife call him indoors
For broth and bread?
His nostrils are stretched with kitchen smells.
We stand before him in the gallery now,
Thousands of ghosts.
The Little Peasant welcomes us from the country of forever.
-George Mackay Brown