23 October, 2006

slightly geologic poetry

pers, august, keifus...this is all your fault.

Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble.
Loosen your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.


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minor edits/tweaks: oct 24


Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon-
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble,
loosen your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.


EDIT: Nov 6

this is the final, i think

Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon-
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble,
unloose your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.

9 comments:

Claude Scales said...

I'm assuming the pun at the end is intended. I like it.

august said...

I'm giving myself half an hour here. I read the comments on pfray, and have been thinking it over.

Actually, the first thing I thought of were some statues that Michelangelo called "the prisoners." They are basically half-finished. He never quite got them out of the marble.

I like "unvein". I agree with MA on eon old image, but I think you should keep "the" in the title.

Should "loosen" begin a new sentence? I thought it way Michelangelo doing the loosening, or is he telling the statue/person to, er, let it all hang out?

Pun at the end? Sling?

On our earlier conversation: Doesn't Michelangelo's rendering of David permanently change the way we thing about David? And also change the way we approach art. If somebody else made the same statue, it wouldn't be the same....

Really, if you are stubborn, I'm glad. I'm just enjoying the conversation, aware that we are unlikely to come up with anything definitive.


Artemesia's been thinking a lot about similar themes. Her poem on Van Gogh, here will interest you.

twiffer said...

like the prisoners. those, and the david, are really all that's worth seeing at the academia. unless a) you really, really, really like early renessaince altar pieces or b) they unroped the big room full of statues that i couldn't go in when i visited.

onto the poem: do i need a hyphen for eon-old?

"loosen"...my first instinct was "unloose". but i thought i had too many "un-" words. not sure, can play. also notable is that, supposedly, the position of the david's arm compensates for a flaw in the marble.

sling rhymes with sing. david wrote pslams, to sing to god, but also sang with his sling-shot in killing goliath. in a metaphorical sense, with any act that praises god being a song to god. of sorts. wasn't intended as a pun, per se, but there is plenty of word play here, so if it sounds punny, go with it.

Keifus said...

I like the sounds of "rend you bones" and "unvein you".

I like unloosed better too, and if it's too close to unvein, you can always call it an intentional parallel.

Standing there "enslabbed, lithic, and waiting" sounds kind of naughty, especially given everyone school mom's immediate connotation with that statue.

K

Keifus said...

"every school mom's"

fucking grammar.

twiffer said...

hehe. why did that make me think of the goonies?

yeah, i'm thinking "unloose" is the way to go.

august said...

version 2

I'm now wondering if "lithic" is redundant. It's a great word and I like the sound.

If there's something else you'd like to say about the rock, that would be the place to do it.

twiffer said...

i don't think it's redundant. could be enslabbed in clay, for instance.

august said...

My bad.