Grunewald’s Crucifixion

“Grunewald’s Crucifixion,” Ensign, Apr. 1972, 61

Grunewald’s Crucifixion

A crucifixion is an awesome thing:

Vast rolls of canvas, torrents of paint,

The stroke of a master’s brush

Cannot make a man die gracefully.

Two thousand years, ten thousand miles,

A Rembrandt or a Rubens—none can make

Glory out of pain.

No man dies easy spiked to a cross,

His life and marrow throbbing out through

White-hot steel, and not enough breath

In God’s universe to satisfy his heaving breast.

But Grunewald is not for all times.

And in this time of triumph, we have no taste

To judge the master stroke.