Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Hermetic Moment

Giambologna, born as Jean Boulogne, incorrectly known as Giovanni da Bologna and Giovanni Bologna (1529 – 13 August 1608), was a sculptor, known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style. Giambologna was born in Douai, Flanders (now in France). After youthful studies in Antwerp with the architect-sculptor Jacques du Broeucq, he moved to Italy in 1550, and studied in Rome. Giambologna made detailed study of the sculpture of classical antiquity. He was also much influenced by Michelangelo, but developed his own Mannerist style, with perhaps less emphasis on emotion and more emphasis on refined surfaces, cool elegance and beauty.

Giambologna became well known for a fine sense of action and movement, and a refined, differentiated surface finish. Among his most famous works are the Mercury (of which he did four versions), poised on one foot, supported by a zephyr. The god raises one arm to point heavenwards, in a gesture borrowed from the repertory of classical rhetoric that is characteristic of Giambologna's maniera. (From Wiki)

A Hermetic Moment

Myriad spidery
threads, halos of warm highlights
cascading around
the remarkable
presence of wings on his feet
announce that he has
reached the heroic,
reached his calling as God's man,
God's good Messenger.

For Big Tent Poetry,
January 6, 2010, 8:52 PM


  1. An interesting take on the prompt. Mercury/Hermes looks as though he's sticking two fingers up at the Creator!

  2. A neat reflection on the wonder of winged feet. Wisely, you use the mythic voice, and to excellent effect. The actual aerodynamics challenge the imagination to the limit!

  3. This is actually a second take on this idea in recent days. The first had me posting a much earlier poem and full frontal male nudity, a much better statue, a Roman early AD copy of an earlier BCE Greek study. I was alerted to issues of facebook bylaws (because I link my facebook account to my blog) and removed the image, replacing it with a more innocuous one. When this prompt came up, I Googled winged feet images to get the statue, wrote the poem, then Googled the backstory on the statue to fill out the post.

  4. Dick, I heartily agree, the winged feet are useless in practical flight unless you allow them to be totally symbolic of inner authenticity, themselves the halo I write of, as if you are not allowed to fly in human form unless you wear magic sandals. I get that completely. My inner sense of things has poor Mercury hanging upside down on the backslant from his sandals for the short amount of time he can keep them on his feet, and then him tumbling to earth while the sandals flutter off chaotically.

  5. Beautiful imagery and the message is divine!

  6. Once again, Christopher, I like the careful research and history you bring to your reader's attention. But, I also like the idea that while waiting for some sort of divine response, one can know that the messenger has the swift, light, and fleet feet to deliver it in a timely fashion.


  7. Christopher it's always enjoyable to read your posts with the historical background. The poem is wonderful.

  8. I got here because I liked your poem about the Orcas Island ferry that was on Dick's blog. I mostly read less intensely literary blogs, but I like yours and some of your poetry that I have read this evening. I will come back from time to time.

  9. I should add, the Orcas Island thing as a setting for a love relationship is real history in that my lover had family property in her care for a while when we first were together. We traveled for long weekends frequently so she could do things like seal paint the roof of the trailer on the property. However the setting is fiction in that the ferry turns a corner nearly always I believe to come into Orcas' landing and I would not ever have been on the island waiting for her to arrive. I was playing off Dick's poem where the vessal was departing, so mine was arriving.

  10. I like that historical background. It really enhanced the pleasure of reading the poem!

    I write notes here...

  11. I love the theme of reaching one's calling. Wonderful.


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