On First Seeing ‘Praying Hands’ by Dürer

When I first saw those honest hands,
the bones and veins,
the cross-hatched lines,
fingertips together,
gently clasped in prayer,
captured in ink,
I think
I began to understand

Oh, to draw such a hand!

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Praying Hands
Image found on Pinterest


37 thoughts on “On First Seeing ‘Praying Hands’ by Dürer

  1. Your small poem has a big meaning. I do think if a person really contemplates something – a poem, a work of art – one can discover something bigger than if one only glanced at it and moved on. This is the message I get from your poem, and I do understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great poem. I loved this painting for years. an honest hand as you say with long sensitive fingers and traces of hard work combined. It does make one understand spirituality and on a deeper note, Christian religion because I understand these hands are based on Jesus’ hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although they may be based on Jesus’ hands, they are not his. They are clearly elderly hands, which is part of their beauty – as Kim’s lovely poem details. This means they are human hands. (Though Jesus was human too, he did not live to be old.) To me that emphasises the spirituality even more, showing how prayer is our connection to God. The phrase ‘honest hands’ is so perfect, in every way in which it can be read – and obviously is intended to be read – in this context.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember seeing that very image and feeling absolutely stunned – into a reverential silence …. so I can so relate to how you’ve written this poem, and the essences you’ve shared here in the translation. I have to say, I would have never thought to “marry these ideas” with the image – but yes, subconsciously, I believe you’ve done this justice for the prayerful and peace.

    amazing idea and poem Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kaykuala

    It creates a picture of wanting to connect with someone dear accompanied with the humility of purpose. Such an attitude often result in easier success!


    Liked by 1 person

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