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This poem is taken from PN Review 169, Volume 32 Number 5, May - June 2006.

The Sculptor: Musée Rodin John Fuller

The shoreline's million shapes are his greatest rival's studio, but none of these extraordinary works are finished.

The smallest sculpture is a law of physics; the largest is nothing less than the universe itself.

The weakness of the mountain: the unconnected surface; the strength of the pebble: shoulders flexing against the sac.

When the stones were first replanted, they turned into warriors.

The jade silkworm spins a garment for the soul.

Simplicity is at the service of magic.

Stillness is an illusion: even a limbless torso can be seen to be marching.

The bronze horseman rides into the public square. Far from being perfect, the sphere is now another form of chaos.

The eyes are blind, the sex broken, but the body lives as it has never lived, in the eternity of its shape.

For abject worship, a niche; for sceptical appraisal, a pedestal; for oblivion, a museum postcard.

The body is restless, searching for the perfect posture which always eludes it.

The swell of the buttock blinds us to the shame of the anus.

Admiring the spine, we forget the amusement in the face.

The fragility of the ankle, the arrogance of the wrist, the invitation of the hip.

The neck is the articulated engine of our curiosity.

When the knees tauten, we are closest to the earth.

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