I THE AGE OF CRITICISM
The clergy, who are prone to vertigo,
Dictate to heaven with a megaphone.
And those addressing Michelangelo
As he was freeing David from the stone
As much as said they thought the nose too big.
He waited till he got them on their own,
Scooped some marble dust up with his tools,
And climbing loftily atop his rig,
He tapped his chisel for those squinting fools
And let a little dust fall on their faces.
He tapped and tapped. And nothing slowly changed
Except for the opinions of Their Graces.
II THE DISCOVERY AND LOSS OF PERSPECTIVE
Her personal vanishing point,
She said, came when she leant
Against his study door
All warm and wet and whispered
He only muttered,
Gazing down his grid, “Oh,
What a lovely thing perspective is!”
She went to live
With cousins in Madrid.
III THE ADVANCE OF NATURALISM
As any dripping clepsydra, batsqueak
In the eaves, or square of angry birds,
So Donatello’s steady chisel rhythm
Could sound like words. Perhaps you’ve read
How someone put his ear against a crack
And heard him try to make a statue speak.
Well, I was there. I heard it answer back.
Of all the cheek! it said. Show some respect!
The hand that makes us perfect makes us each
Submissive to the other’s intellect.
Nor have we any novelty to teach,
Whether through speaking sculpture
Or through sculptured speech.
Leave a Reply