Lesley Dill (born 1950) is an American contemporary artist whose work has centered on the connection between language and psyche. Front (The Soul Has Bandaged Moments) (1994) depicts a woman’s nude body, beheaded by the contrast of the photograph, inscribed with the text of Dill’s favorite Emily Dickinson poem, from which she took the work’s title. In this image, the areas of the body that “darkness” has encroached upon are specifically gendered—there is an aspect of negation related to the most intimate parts of the female sex. Yet the head is also blurred out with the same mechanism, raising questions of where value is placed with regards to the female body. 


The Soul has Bandaged moments        


The Soul has Bandaged moments—

When too appalled to stir—

She feels some ghastly Fright come up

And stop to look at her—


Salute her, with long fingers—

Caress her freezing hair—

Sip, Goblin, from the very lips

The Lover—hovered—o’er—

Unworthy, that a thought so mean

Accost a Theme—so—fair—


The soul has moments of escape—

When bursting all the doors—

She dances like a Bomb, abroad,

And swings upon the Hours,


As do the Bee—delirious borne—

Long Dungeoned from his Rose—

Touch Liberty—then know no more—

But Noon, and Paradise


The Soul’s retaken moments—

When, Felon led along,

With shackles on the plumed feet,

And staples, in the song,


The Horror welcomes her, again,

These, are not brayed of Tongue—


Lesley Dill, American, born 1950
Front (The Soul Has Bandaged Moments) from the suite A Word Made Flesh, 1994
Photolithograph, etching and aquatint on tea-stained Mulberry paper, hand sewn onto Arches buff paper
25 7/8 x 21 7/16 in.
Purchased through the Hood Museum of Art Acquisitions Fund; PR.995.7.3
© Lesley Dill