Torso of a Female Figure (1)
April 11, 2013
Apr 11, 2013
From her aerial view, from the inside of the museum while sensing the
luminescence of schoolchildren on the afternoon steps.
She is not the god, but of the gods.
Draped in white, one clavicle emerging from her sleeve, she is not contained by
glass, only an invisible shield protects her from the elements of the museum. She is safer here than when the women stood weaponless on the walls to guard the city.
The graves of the women are the most elaborate:
gold lockets and rings, children too locked to the women’s sides in burial.
Her torso is small in comparison to the general’s. He with nipple, she draped and without because rendering of the female figure is the practice of clothing the body in a matronly pose.
The female figure, the only non-god, non-soldier, non-athlete in the wing, is a torso that has given birth to other torsos. The female soft in marble, her half-arms survive only to her biceps where the weight of children was lifted.
In the museum, we can imagine her function as clearly as the sculptor because we all have mothers.
We may or may not have gods or generals.
Some of us have mothers who pray, some who mourn for the sacrificed as they watch from the city walls. If a relief representing a woman can portray what we all share then maybe inside the museum there is a chance for new life.
While we have you...
...we need your help. You might have noticed the absence of paywalls at Boston Review. We are committed to staying free for all our readers. Now we are going one step further to become completely ad-free. This means you will always be able to read us without roadblocks or barriers to entry. It also means that we count on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, help us keep it free for everyone by making a donation. No amount is too small. You will be helping us cultivate a public sphere that honors pluralism of thought for a diverse and discerning public.
April 11, 2013