Part VI

Today I stray from the theme a bit. I'm not sure that I'll be able to be that articulate, and this might be a short post. I saw the David today, about two hours ago, and he became one of my favorite poems.
Poetry is so moving to me because it draws attention to parts of life we might not usually observe, or gives words to an emotion we didn't even notice we felt. More specifically, the reason I love Renaissance poetry as much as I do is because I find it similar to reading in another language. The vocabulary is often strange to modern ears, and at the end of a poem I find that I get the general idea of the poem even if still haven't understood every word. I think that's what I truly love about poetry - the words themselves, while not extremely important as individuals, can convey a message, a feeling that goes beyond pen on paper.

Il David

Today, while Beth and I were gazing unabashedly at Michelangelo's gargantuan creation, I got that message that goes beyond words. I saw the poetry in his furrowed brow, his pupils shaped vaguely like hearts. Beth and I discussed his stance - was he ready to shift is weight to the other leg, or was he completely stationary? Was the symbolism of his over-sized right hand purely physical or was Michelangelo trying to allude to the hand of God?
Never have I been so moved by a piece of art, though I typically stray from the cliche masterpieces - I suppose they're widely acclaimed for a reason.

So, today's poem doesn't contain words. Today's poem is in Michelangelo's chisel and a block of marble. It's in the artist's hands, moving across dusty surfaces and harsh corners. With every strike of the chisel, large and minute, is where today's poem lies. It's in that block of marble's veins, muscles, locks of hair. Standing in awe, I read it like I read my favorite poems. I felt the tension in his brow, the resolve in his stance, the moment before he clenches his fingers, the shallow breath in his chest, felt his shoulders' attempt to relax.

It's poetic, one man's ability to carve something as complex as human emotion out of a block of cold, white stone. I didn't see marble today. I saw vulnerability, perfection, realism, fluidity...and it became one of my favorite works of poetry as my eyes wandered over those lines in his back, forearms, and legs.
I apologize for the tediousness of this post, but I'm in love.

1 comment:

laura freeman said...

Anything but tedious, dear Rachel. I remember the first time I saw the David, too. But I wrote my poem about the prisoners - the ones trying to break free from the marble.
Still, you made me see the David again with fresh eyes (and wonderful photographs!). Thank you.
And thank you for your reflections on the power of words, their sounds and meanings.
Buona giornata.