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Poetry and Medicine
January 3, 2017

The Body

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
JAMA. 2017;317(1):91. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15675

—after Caravaggio’s Bacchus

Reclining before dying fruit—
wrong end of the blighted pear and one
browned pomegranate
split and scattered apart—the shining Bacchus,
curve of his large shoulder,
slight stain of his nipple,
those languorous dairymaid
eyelids and brows, and the wine-pinked face,
framed by wilted grapevines
that form a sinister, rotting crown.

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