Dedicated by the Author to Artist Leonard Baskin.
To his house the bodiless
Come to barter endlessly
Vision, wisdom, for bodies
Palpable as his, weighty.
Hands moving more priestlier
Than Priest’s hands, invoke no vain
images of light and air
But sure stations in bronze, wood, stone.
Obdurate, in dense-grained wood,
A bald angel blocks and shapes
The flimsy light; arms folded
Watches his cumbrous world eclipse
Inane worlds of wind and cloud.
Bronze dead dominate the floor,
Dwarfing us. Our bodies flicker
Toward extinction in those eyes
Which, without him, were beggared
Of place, time and their bodies.
Emulous spirits make discord,
Try entry, enter nightmares
Until his chisel bequeaths
Them life livelier than ours,
A soldier repose than death’s.
Leonard Baskin’s art is on the Sibyl’s and Oracles page :’The Matriarchs’ and his ‘Abundant Bird’ is on the threads for Saturday Woman Poet. Sylvia Plath‘s ‘Purdah’ is mentioned in relation to The Restored edition of Ariel. ‘Sculptor’ is published in ‘The Collected Sylvia Plath’, Faber and Faber.