Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 10/30: Create!

Poem 10/30. A third of the way there! It will probably get more difficult to come up with topics as the month goes on, but so far so good.


I've modeled for years now, for the life
drawing classes at the local college.
I'll disrobe, and find an interesting pose
up on the podium, all angles
and twists and static movement and then...
hold it...
hold it...
motionless, for up to an hour
at a stretch. An eternity
on my side of the easel,
but if I've done my job right,
crafted that perfect scene,
the students are so lost in creation
that time speeds by for them. I grin
when they cry out in disappointment
as the chime of the timer
releases me
from my deliberate agony.

When I get the chance,
I'll stroll around the studio
viewing the results.
Partly to see if that last pretzeled
pose really worked,
but mostly because it is simply
A room full of people, staring
at the same exact subject...
you would think the outcomes
would be similar, no?

Especially late in the semester,
when the teachers loosen up
and let the students have their head.
The results become wildly different.
Color, composition, media choices,
all jagged angles or swooping curves,
delicate shading or bold contrast...
where did their eyes focus?
What filtered through their hands,
their emotions, their minds,
and made it to the paper?
I may be naked up there,
but it is the artist
whose heart is really revealed.
The drawings say ever so much more
about them
then they ever do about me.

And this is why I tell people:
Yes, other folks have done that.
Whatever it is.
But I know from experience
that hundreds can draw
the exact same subject...
and yet. What you have to say,
what you bring to the easel
(the jewelry bench, the loom,
the whatever your tools are),
what you will bring
will be different.
Will be yours.
I've seen it.
A hundred artists,
yet your creation will be

There is powerful art
that will not exist
unless you give it form.


Melissa McCollum

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