August 09, 2010

Beauty Will Save the World

The Milkmaid, Johannes Vermeer

So long as that woman from the Rijksmuseum
in painted quiet and concentration
keeps pouring milk day after day
from the pitcher to the bowl
the World hasn’t earned
the world’s end.

--Vermeer, by Wislawa Szymborska, translated from the Polish by 
Clare Cavanagh, Stanislaw Baranczak, New York Review of Books


  1. Delighted to find another who appreciates Vermeer. He seems a bit neglected among Catholic circles.

    I greatly enjoyed both quotes and the accompanying picture.

  2. Ah! Vermeer is my favorite, behing Fra Angelico, of course! So glad you love him too!