She winks at me through brick arches
Marble columns and stone pediments,
Frescoes, sculptures, colors and forms,
Painstakingly extracted from genius,
Sinews straining against complacency
Languidly tempted to delay or do nothing.
What inertia must have been conquered
That you could have life.
What loving care must have been mustered
That you could long survive
To feel my gaze in an age that little notes
Nor barely understands what you represent.
The weight of the years past
A span of time beyond our easy comprehension
Is pierced by the remains of those heroes
Brave enough to unleash their talents
For at least a season of victory
Over their frail human nature
Driven to delay or squander
The impulse to give form to talent.
So much conceived and never begun
How much more initiated and yet still-born,
But oh, of what survived!
Of what made it through the dangerous passage
Between conception and completion
Surpassing all odds against fulfillment
Slipping past the weakness of the artisan
Into the sunny radiance
Of our latter-day appreciation.
A chilling reminder to us all
Of all that may still remain
Like Buonarroti's figure inside
Waiting for release from the block of marble.
And they ask me why I travel to Italy.
Chris Brady@Copyright 2010