Sculptor Auguste Rodin, most famous, perhaps, for his The Thinker, has a piece which has fascinated me since I first discovered it within the pages of Robert Heinlein‘s Stranger in a Strange Land: Caryatid with Stone. This beautiful girl has been required to support more than she can bear, to be the supporting pillar of an arch. Her beautiful body too frail for the task that was set, the weight has crushed her into an unnatural position, but her spirit is strong enough to carry on. She remains, still supporting the stone, despite her deformity, and will stand until eternity, endurance personified. Perhaps because my encounter with this sculpture was probably my first experience with the transformative power of visual art, its strength has always seemed to great for me to capture within the frail lines of a poem. I fear my poor poem might in fact be crushed, like the caryatid, under the weight of such a powerful emotional burden as this piece has for me. Nevertheless, I will eventually write this poem, when the distance feels great enough that I can approach it with the detachment necessary for my type of craft.

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