About Me

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poem: Stillness


I know why I am drawn
to statues formed of bronze,
or alabaster, marble white —

The wall plaque won at the age of ten
for a 4th grade spelling bee, an ivory Madonna,
calm child enfolded in soothing arms, the curve
of cheek, the fullness of lips that purse
to kiss, the contemplative love —

The coldness cloaks a warmth,
a figure cast or shaped from life —

Yet hollow are the sockets, with sight
beyond what eyes can see, an airy space
contained within that defies the solidity.

And when I see it, I am folded, too,
into that peace and formality, that death
in active sleep, a space for dreams.

© 2012 Annie King 4-7-12

When I wrote this poem, thinking of that little plaque, barely six inches tall, smooth and unseamed, with a hole in the back to place upon a nail, and the face of the Madonna and her young child with his bare arm, and the curve of the faces and the folds of her cloak and mantle, I think of how many times through the years, when I find it in a childhood box, I want to touch it, and how the same feeling is evoked when I see a statue, or even a photograph of one. There is something about an image captured in a tactile manner that differs from a painting. And yet, I do not touch it. I gaze upon it, like a piece in a museum, and cup it in the palm of my hand.


  1. Ooh, lovely poem Annie! I enjoyed it immensely. Look forward to more ...

  2. Hi Joanne,

    Thank you. It's a bit more "sing-songy" than my typical poem, but I think it works for this. I could take out the entire second stanza, and it might actually be a better poem; but then I'd lose the personal reference. I've re-written that second stanza several times, trying to capture the little plaque. It has a pleasing shape that fits comfortably in one hand. Originally, though, I was thinking of statues, and then why I like them.