Michaelangelo’s David, awesome model of manhood.
Front foot poised, back hip braced, taut sinews strung,
Yet balanced he stands, and he stands alone;
Sling carelessly over one shoulder slung,
The fingers that dandle the deadly stone
Flaccid. The sculptor’s tender blade caressed
The muscled flanks, roused hair in Grecian swirls
Above the brow, and traced the youthful breast
In curving lines to where answering curls
Nestle. Consummate vision of manhood!
As if stepped living from pure white marble
Onto the trembling earth – and rapture would
Transcend the flesh. Yet in the terrible
Frowning brow, a man quenched. In David’s eyes
Youth and artist together agonise.
Copyright © Matthew Harrison, 2009