"The Sculptor and His Muse"

"The Sculptor and His Muse"

"The Sculptor and His Muse"

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
Aug. 23 2011 6:51 AM

"The Sculptor and His Muse"

(Rodin, 1894)

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Greg Miller read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

The lithe muse rises from his crotch,

right finger and delicate thumb

poised where I watch

her rise

from his shaft's hidden head,

her left foot rising from his thigh

as from a bath,

falling counterclockwise

head-to-head, their shared wreathlike hair

like Venus shed

or cut from Zeus to be thrown free

until the spinning lines make me see

her large left hand is his also,

she his shoulder


by that face—least finished,

blinded and turned inward—

those pert, small breasts

the clock's top, where he's dropped:

that giant right hand that's covered

the beard—the mouth—

vomiting and making.  What lifts


his muse from the stone scrotal sack

or earth-womb opening between

his knees—earth-wounded—wracked by lack

and surfeit, stone lactary-sheen?