Resurrected from the Garden, Palazzo Barberini

Two Statues Barberini


PEN Poetry Series

A few poems excerpted from What Is Not Missing Is Light have been featured in the PEN Poetry Series. Guest editor Heather Christle writes a lovely introduction to the poems: “On the subject of statues in museums, poets are divided. In one gallery, Frank O’Hara proclaims to his beloved that ‘it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still / as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary,’ while in an adjacent room Rainer Maria Rilke maintains his vehement belief in the power of Apollo’s archaic torso. In Bridgette Bates’ new collection, What Is Not Missing Is Light, statues provide occasions for the poet to explore the body, the museum, the war inside and out. Marble arms reach back into myths both ancient and more immediately personal, or—if the arms themselves are missing—the poet’s gaze grows haptic in their place. I won’t call Bates a docent. She is a fellow visitor to the museum, one who’s generously decided to share with us her graceful, intelligent notes.” 

Read the poems here.