Keating on Canvas on National Poetry Day

Today is All-Ireland National Poetry Day.

Recently I was researching the life of Irish artist Sean Keating for an article I’ve written about him (to be printed in Ireland’s Own magazine later this month). My curiosity was aroused when I found that he often used his own image for figures in his paintings – in all 3 sets of Stations of the Cross that he painted for church commissions he modelled the figure of Christ on himself. He also pops up as a minor figure in many other paintings, especially religious ones. His own image intrigued him – he painted about 100 self portraits during his lifetime. Wondering why Keating used his own image in his work, I penned the following poem. So this is my contribution to National Poetry Day.

Keating on Canvas

There you are, peering out at me

Sometimes an unobtrusive robed figure

Sometimes Christ himself, centre stage

You can’t resist worming into the scene

Are you devout or contemptuous?


There you are, peering out at me

You mingle with the war weary crowd

Blending into the scene

But your intense eyes stare out

What do you want to say?


There you are, peering out at me

A bearded, long haired man

Watching through the years with eyes

That first pierce, then finally contemplate, maybe accept

Are you showing your real self this time?

                                                   by Dianne Ascroft


About Dianne Ascroft

I'm a Canadian writer and author, living in Britain. My first novel, 'Hitler and Mars Bars' was released in March 2008. More information abo
This entry was posted in October 2009 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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