The Relationship of Matter and Light

When Rilke began his lesson in close
observation, he had first to notice
what technical savvy and flash could not discover,
that core which is more than wave
and particle or the penchant of matter to bend
the light. He had to observe the ties seer to seen,
artist to model, to feel his own disunion.
He was ready for witness then, ready for Rodin.
In the studio, he finds the artist's figures louche,
rough, resists their begging to be touched,
their demands he reach toward metal, then
gives in to join with moving light and transubstantiate.
Man/panther/man, he tracks his prey
to the center of his own eye.

Wendy Carlisle

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