The Professor delivers more than we could have hoped for with his epic poem, Vanitas. With this Robert Browning-inspired poem, he manages to create a vanitas of sorts. Both in the narrative conveyed within the poem and from the reading of the poem itself, the reader is subjected to a consideration of the contrast between life and death.
Subtle nuances in the still life painting of his wife send a Duke down meandering and shadow-cloaked pathways within his bitter and jealous imagination. As the Duke becomes increasingly certain the Duchess has been seduced by the painter, he determines that there might be a bit of artistic sensibility in himself as well.
Was the Duchess scampering through the maze, seduced by whispering promises of what the artist would give her if only he could? Did seeds of this infidelity take root in the soil of her heart where they germinated, decaying the love for her Duke?
Perceiving this rot inside her, the Duke had only one course of action. Of course, it’s always possible the Duke is simply a madman driven to extremes by a jealous nature and bitter envy of the painter’s skill. The truth is something we might never know.
Could this latest release from The Professor serve as a prequel of sorts to the Browning poem, My Last Duchess? Are we reading the sordid details of what transpired before Browning’s poem begins? The Professor may be revealing to us the telltale unfaithfulness captured in the Duchess’s slight blush, sending the Duke reeling toward horrific conclusions with fatal consequences. I, for one, choose to accept this as a canonical antecedent.
Vanitas can be obtained by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below: