XJ Kennedy

Kennedy’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” is also deceptively simple, even when the reader is aware of the fact that the poem is a description of the painting of like name:


Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,

A gold of lemon, root and rind,

she sifts in sunlight down the stairs

With nothing on.  Nor on her mind

We spy beneath the banister

A constant thresh of thigh on thigh–

Her lips imprint the singing air

That parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterfall, she wears

her slow descent like a long cape

And pausing, on the final stair

Collects her motions into shape.

Like Dickinson’s poetry, Kennedy’s work employs a particular meter and rhyme sequence which pulls the reader through the work.  Kennedy also, like Dickinson employs a highly visual description to the work, with “punch lines” of ironic language at the termination of each stanza which draw allusion to the humor of “I heard a Fly buzz–when I died–,” and “Death is a Dialogue.”

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: