Friday, December 2, 2011

How Is the Eye to See?

How is the eye to see, or hand to move,
Charcoal burning into what is mind
As cave painters long ago brushed
The ends of their lit torches into line?
How does the hand walk into the eye,
Talk to the ear, dance for the heart?
What is the timing of pure art?

In academies, since the Renaissance,
Refining measures were the near objective,
Discovery of nature further on.
Later in Rococo time, how was the prim
To be addressed, or the melancholy,
Or how to draw the person who has flown
By psyche to another place and time?

Or after Realism and Courbet,
Renoir, Eakins and Monet?
First the masses: how to weigh
Their slim recumbency, or say
How is the model older this week –
Can you tell? – or younger to an Age
You will not know? And how to draw
The blithe completeness of her form
In times both analytic and assured?

Along with central heating, and
Fluorescent lights
Skin is not pallor, only temperature.
So much about us medicine
And ill, we have to draw beyond,
Or long ago. Empirically we know,
Subjectively we draw – though how we think
Is too much only us.

To feel the other standing in a space,
Waiting to be seen and understood,
Remains a vestibule of intimates;
How the vulnerable model charms
By her quiet surprise of grace –
These are some infinities of space.

John Sevcik

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