After Carl Bloch’s “The Mocking of Christ”
are beyond the curve of a question mark, comma, ampersand, tilde, or backslash. Neither are they bending quotation marks or circumflex tenting, drumroll dash angling toward a full stop. There is, yes, pain from vertical reeds, the greater-than whip, but no closed expression after the strain of yielding to underscore, being stripped of letters, symbols, equal signs. Curses and callousness don’t cloud the eyes in tears, just silence. They are front and back braces, apostrophes for shameless followers. They are accent, bracket, exclamation, pause-break, end key, scroll lock conflagration!
Mark Bennion teaches writing and literature classes at Brigham Young University–Idaho. He recently published his first book, Psalm & Selah: A Poetic Journey through The Book of Mormon, a collection of narrative and lyrical poems that bring the lesser-known characters of the Book of Mormon to life.