Dante’s Barmaids


Of nymphs, I write for money;
On canvas, there they dance.
they laugh, in corsets corked
with bubbles popping out.


This poem was inspired by a detail from “Inferno,” a painting by contemporary Swedish artist Per-Inge Isheden. “Inferno” is a portrait of the nineteenth-century Swedish playwright, literary luminary and painter August Strindberg (1849 – 1912).

You can view more of Isheden’s absorbing paintings here and you can follow him on Facebook. With thanks to Isheden for allowing me to reproduce this detail and reference his work.

Did you enjoy my poem? Would you like to read some more? Preview my first volume of selected poems.  And don’t forget to follow my adventures with Jaegerbombs, barmaids and literary luminosity on Twitter. I’m @BeadedQuill.