By Lynn Levin

(After Rembrandt’s The Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany)

With Rembrandt, it is Isaac in the foreground,
bound upon the kindling,
splayed across his face, his father’s hand,
his body splashed with light, his neck laid bare.
Upward there is the angel fully feathered,
in the center kneeling obedient Abraham,
in the air, still dangerous, the falling knife.
Then by the heel of the father,
there to round the journey
of the viewer’s eye,
is the figure that we and Abraham see dead last
you, ram, in your thicket,
earthen brown, horn hooked
upon a twisted thorn,
the only glimmer there reproach
in your bloodshot eye.



Lynn Levin’s most recent poetry collection is Miss Plastique (Ragged Sky Press, 2013).  Her poetry and prose have appeared in Boulevard, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and other publications. “In the Alte Pinakothek” appears in Levin’s previous collection Fair Creatures of an Hour (Loonfeather Press, 2009). 

Top: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac (1636), oil on canvas, 77 by 52 inches

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