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The Carousel with Madonnas

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Mount up, Madonnas, Madonnas,

Your teams-of-six, of six!

Your steeds hang hooves in the air

They wait, adozing, they wait!

Each chariot is painted tri-color,

Each team is of three coats:

The vault, the oak, the carrot!

Then stir the divine Madonnas,

the hundred horses start!

They spin like a vinyl record

The record that goes this:

Flash by the thoroughbreads!

The saddle lambrekins

The blazing colors of chariots

Flowery, decorative

In each, face-to-face,

Madonna and Madonna,

In her ageless pose remains

bent backwards bent backwards

--white horses


--black horses


--bay horses



And they

In Leonardo's frowns

In the twists of Raphael

In rounded flames, in cages of ropes,

In the suburbs, on a Sunday.

Madonna and Madonna

Who knows which one's asleep

And which one is inspired

--a team-of-six

--and two!

--a team-of-six

--and two!

--a team-of-six

--the two!

What madness!

And then the carousel slows

Repeats the fading chorus

the fading cho-


el Mado







Mount up

the teams-of-six!

Miron Białoszewski, 1956

The poem is said to have been inspired by a carousel in a suburban fairground but combines elements of sacrum and profanum. The art song featured at the top emphasizes the former.

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