karla huston

This poem was an assignment given by Denise Duhamel in a class I took from her at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in 2001. She suggested writing from the point of view of a character in a painting. Since I had no paintings in front of me at the time, I thought of this one – not a very inspired choice, to be sure, and the painting has become a cliche in so many ways. Because so much has been written/said about Mona Lisa, I tried to speak in a different way, tried to imagine what it might have been like to pose for the great DaVinci. After a bit of research, I discovered that the painting was really an experiment in light and shadow more than it was a painting of a particular woman, so it became even more important for me to give her voice.