Sunday, April 12, 2009

the sculptor

the sculptor

once upon a time
a mad sculptor
(great artist, though),
created a masterpiece.

from a block of anonymous marble
he carved a form
of infinite beauty
and all who looked upon it
felt great joy in their hearts.

there was a certain
vibrance, in this form
that the sculptor could not explain
something beyond stone
and chisel
and an artist’s dream.

for days and nights he pondered
sleepless and disturbed
at nights
with a lamp in his hand
he would steal into the studio
to gaze
upon his creation.

he felt the tension in the air
as if something alive
were locked into the confines of
immobile stone.

and then, he understood.
the discovery broke
his last link
with sanity.

in a rare moment
he had stumbled upon the ultimate -
his creation throbbed
with a life of its own.

he blew out the lamp.
in the starlit darkness
he climbed upon the pedestal
embraced his handiwork
his face streaming with tears
heart breaking
with the pangs of separation
and breathing upon the marble face, he said,
“i give thee life.
go forth in freedom
fulfill in freedom
the beauty and the joy
that is yours.”

he stepped down
and trembling in anguished expectation
waited for the first marble breath
the first twitch of the marble finger
the first flicker in the marble eye.

the sculpture stirred
then spoke,
is my destiny”, it said,
“not freedom,
for freedom is too scary.
here i am secure
and timeless
and there is no pain.
these are the last words i will ever speak
so listen well,
i am but your handiwork
i am but a sculpture
i am only

“speak to me again”
the sculptor cried.
there was no response.
he took up the hammer
and struck off an arm
there was no pain
he took up the chisel
and pierced the breast
there was no blood.
just silence
and the immobility
of cold, frozen

broken in heart and mind
the sculptor fell
and lay dead upon the studio floor.

his creation stirred not.
it was unaware
like stone.
as dead
as the other blocks of marble
stacked lifeless
in the corner.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . paul mathew


  1. with the pangs of separation
    and breathing upon the marble face, he said,
    “i give thee life...............Beautiful lines

  2. Powerful imagination; it has injected life in the poem.

    1. Thank you Naval. Sorry for the long overdue response.

  3. Paul,

    Great stuff! But I guess you know that poetry is esoteric to me ... I need someone to explain the nuances; or is it about deriving my own meaning?

    I have a feeling that you have read out some of them to me in the past. The drink one and the valley seem familiar.

    Maybe we will have another sitting soon!



  4. in a rare moment
    he had stumbled upon the ultimate ..........
    To me these words sounds like an incident in my life.Great to meet you and read you here Paul Ji

    1. long overdue response Sapna. All the same, thank you. I have added one more just now and hope to add some more in coming weeks. Meantime, deep thanks for your comments.

  5. This is incredibly beautiful. I had tears. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Momo. Check out the one I added today.