The Sculpture Garden in Sunlight

by Evelyn Hooven (July 2017)


The Thinker in the Rodin Museum Garden, Paris, France

 

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The setting is the Rodin Museum garden
during an extraordinary heat wave;
fatalities mount; the sculpture speaks:
 
 

Not to be stone,
Not to be bronze to the core
Is dangerous, dangerous—
The people are dazed by this radiance,
Something contorts their faces,
Anaesthesia—imminent breakage .  .  .
It is clear
They will never endure;
Ship them ever so crated
Or filled with excelsior,
Mark them exceptionally fragile,
They must turn out
Frangible, asunder—
Incomplete.

 

This is the madness of sun,
This must be their strange festival—
Precarious
Without pedestals,
Occasion
Of losses.
Their creator puts out
No hand
To repair them.
Perhaps he is sleeping
Or elsewhere, making
What thrives intact,
What holds out forever.

 
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Evelyn Hooven graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.A. from Yale University, where she also studied at The Yale School of Drama.  A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, she has had presentations of her verse dramas at several theatrical venues, including The Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Series in Greenwich, CT (after a state-wide competition) and The Poet’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA (result of a national competition). Her poems and translations from the French have appeared in ART TIMES, Chelsea, The Literary Review, THE SHOp: A Magazine of Poetry (in Ireland), The Tribeca Poetry Review, Vallum (in Montreal), and other journals, and her literary criticism in Oxford University’s Essays in Criticism.
 
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