Poems of the Week

Bel Image

by Julia Griffin

“An image of Edmond de Belamy, created by a computer, has just been sold at Christie’s.”—
The Guardian

M. de Belamy, your lost,
Caliginous, unpupilled eyes
Peer from a square of gilt embossed
As from a carnival disguise.
Edmond! What is it that you seek?
Your stare is endless. Some have said
You staked your spirit at bézique;
Some say, in fact, that you are dead:
That what these gilded bars enshrine
Is nothing but an empty case.
Still others call you Frankenstein;
And some, behind your haunted face
Detect the sadness of AI:
Which could not live, so cannot die.