Poetry and Gardening

Musings from the days of a creative writer/gardener with a true appreciation for nature, meditation, and poetry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Other Types of Gardens: Rodin's Sculptures

This weekend, it was either raining or I was busy with other things and couldn't get out to the garden.  But it's doing well, and now that the rain has lasted several days, I'm sure I'll have plenty to take care of during the upcoming weekend. 

Even though I wasn't in my own garden recently, I did spend some time at Rodin's Garden at the North Carolina Arts Museum yesterday.  My art instructor and I were there for a meeting about advocating for the arts in our state, and every time I go to that museum something has changed, but this time there were major changes.  The museum just opened several new buildings and showcased their collection of Rodin sculptures in a simple, Zen-like garden that opens off one of the large airy spaces inside the building.  Set among groups of bamboo and surrounding a lotus pond, Rodin's sculptures stood in spaces quite apropos to their stunning power.  One (I didn't get its title) moved me quite deeply:  a wraithlike figure in a cloak with a face so powerfully eloquent, big empty eyes and pain etched deeply into the folds of his cheeks.  I took several photos and have included them here since they speak far more distinctly than I can at this moment.  (By the way, there was only one lotus flower in bloom, and it was perfectly positioned for this photograph.)

During my travels in Greece, I was always looking for examples of the three muses.  This one is the best I've seen, and to see it up close is amazing.  Each muscle is clearly and cleanly defined, and the expressions on their faces are beyond eloquence.

The final one is an armless female dancer.  I'm not quite sure why Rodin chose to remove what probably was the most expressive part of her body, but this one evokes the Greeks more than any other.  (The pile of "wood" in the back is another sculpture -- huge and awkward.)

Today's poem is about a Rodin sculpture (forgive me for moving away from the garden theme for a moment) and written by Carl Sandburg.


LEGS hold a torso away from the earth.

And a regular high poem of legs is here.

Powers of bone and cord raise a belly and lungs

Out of ooze and over the loam where eyes look and ears hear

And arms have a chance to hammer and shoot and run motors.

You make us

Proud of our legs, old man.

And you left off the head here,

The skull found always crumbling neighbor of the ankles.