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Instructions to a Sculptor (Free verse) by Christof
When I commission my statue Would you kindly ensure That you notch with a chisel A nick or a flaw In the top of the skull Or between ribs three and four: It's at the artist's discretion To decide where the score Most truthfully lies.

Up the ladder: Windfall
Down the ladder: quickie

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Votes: (green: user, blue: anonymous)
10  .. 2520
.. 73
.. 90
.. 50
.. 31
.. 11
.. 22
.. 11
.. 10
.. 11
.. 617

Arithmetic Mean: 6.6074767
Weighted score: 6.6074767
Overall Rank: 596
Posted: October 1, 2002 1:40 AM PDT; Last modified: October 1, 2002 1:40 AM PDT
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The following users have marked this poem on their favorites list:


[10] INTRANSIT @ | 1-Oct-02/5:57 AM | Reply
That is beautiful. A tear has fallen. Scale not big enough.
[n/a] Christof @ > INTRANSIT | 1-Oct-02/5:59 AM | Reply
Thank you my friend, I really appreciate your comments.
[7] newdawnfades @ > Christof | 24-Jan-03/3:36 PM | Reply
Great job, simple but effective and original.
[8] Nicholas Jones @ | 1-Oct-02/6:04 AM | Reply
Very nice; perfection is impossible and not desirable. Is the 'score' a reference to the very idea of rating art i.e. exactly what we're engaged in here?
[n/a] Christof @ > Nicholas Jones | 1-Oct-02/6:07 AM | Reply
Partly; there's also the idea of a score as in a literal mark left by a chisel and as in the rating that can be given to the narrator as a person. Actually I hadn't even thought of the poemranker interpretation but it works. Thanks!
[6] harrytuttle @ | 1-Oct-02/7:26 AM | Reply
Interesting. I thought this was about not making a thing perfect.
[n/a] Christof @ > harrytuttle | 1-Oct-02/7:29 AM | Reply
It is!
[8] god'swife @ | 1-Oct-02/7:51 AM | Reply
I believe the flaw is your over-sized heart. I really enjoy the rhymn scheme.
[n/a] Christof @ > god'swife | 1-Oct-02/7:52 AM | Reply
Stop being so nice to me. It makes me blush.
[8] god'swife @ > Christof | 1-Oct-02/7:54 AM | Reply
o.k. I'll be a jerk to you and start being nice to acertaincontempt. This poem is a big piece of crap.
[n/a] Christof @ > god'swife | 1-Oct-02/7:55 AM | Reply
That's better. Now I can start to feel indignant. Grrr.
[9] knickytoy @ | 1-Oct-02/8:36 AM | Reply
I took it to mean that the sculpture is a portrait of you and that the sculptor was better positioned to know where your fatal flaw lies, in your head or in your heart. Am I way off?
[n/a] Christof @ > knickytoy | 1-Oct-02/8:37 AM | Reply
You're spot on. That's exactly what I meant. But other people have read stuff into it that is equally valid, which is interesting.
[n/a] lmp @ > knickytoy | 9-Jun-06/1:47 PM | Reply
that is what i got from it too, so i guess the poem hits the mark, so to speak.
[10] razorgrin @ | 1-Oct-02/11:10 AM | Reply
Definitely in the heart. This is very beautiful. Sometimes it bothers me about how people develop blind spots for themselves. The rhythm is gorgeous.
[7] Frass @ | 1-Oct-02/8:16 PM | Reply
The nick is the distinctive, final, signifying mark of the creator of art, the slight imperfection reflecting the author's unique ingenuity while admitting with humility the imperfection of mortal existence before the pure presence of the almighty represented by the observations of others.
[5] poetandknowit @ | 3-Oct-02/7:46 AM | Reply
Modern Hawthorne in a weird wacky way. Good show. I like it when you do not write boring poems. So what is it with you: pro fox or anti fox?
[n/a] Christof @ > poetandknowit | 3-Oct-02/7:51 AM | Reply
Um, thanks! I am couldn't-care-less-about-the-whole-fox-question. there are so many more important things to worry about. I think the govt has latched onto fox hunting as an issue because it can rely on large swathes of the idiot British public to go 'aah fluffy animals' and another swathe to go 'ugh kill animals' and for both sides to completely foregt the things in our country that are really falling apart. As for me, I wouldn't go fox-hunting myself but I don't object to fishing, pheasant shooting or eating meat, so how can I really make a moral issue out of other people's rather weird idea of fun?
[9] brazen @ | 4-Oct-02/2:06 PM | Reply
english, eh? may i make it more official by apologizing for dragging you all down with us americans? good, then its settled...
[10] <~> @ | 4-Oct-02/8:16 PM | Reply
methinks the flaw makes the man. well done, christof! ah, the things one misses when one goes away for a spell
[10] limonade @ | 4-Oct-02/8:42 PM | Reply
Fabulous extended metaphor. This one made me stop and think. I can't find a weak spot in it. The rhythm is good and the slant rhyme (chisel/skull) contrasting with the true rhyme (four/score) mirrors the poem itself: made perfect with the addition of the flaw. (I know this is really convoluted, but this is what my mind made up)
[10] vulcan @ | 7-Oct-02/12:31 AM | Reply
Perfect!I'm happy I checked your poems!and found this strange artistic monument there!(there's no exaggeration on my part,I've read enough poetry to see what is good and what Perfect!)10
[10] vulcan @ > vulcan | 7-Oct-02/8:42 AM | Reply
May I send you some painting now and then?
[n/a] Christof @ > vulcan | 7-Oct-02/8:43 AM | Reply
Certainly, I didn't know you painted as well, that would be really interesting to see how your paintings reflect on your poems.
[10] vulcan @ > Christof | 7-Oct-02/8:47 AM | Reply
Sorry I paint but I did not mean my own paintings!Masterpieces I meant.(but i believe I'll be one 20 years later.I'm serious about it)
[n/a] Christof @ > vulcan | 7-Oct-02/8:48 AM | Reply
Oh I see - but yes! I'll be happy to receive anything you think I'll like!
[10] vulcan @ > Christof | 8-Oct-02/5:09 AM | Reply
Hi Christof!I sent you an e-card today.I hope you'll recieve it and wish you haven't seen it before!but for Willilam Bouguereau's masterpieces I suggest you visit ''.especially his "Homer and his guide"and "Dante and Virgil in Hell".(there was no"Send to a friend "on that site, but there's a great treasure for lovers of Fine Art!)Thanks.
[n/a] Christof @ > vulcan | 8-Oct-02/5:40 AM | Reply
Thanks very much for that. I haven't encountered Bougereau before. That is very dramatic painting - Romantic period presumably?
[10] vulcan @ > Christof | 8-Oct-02/5:42 AM | Reply
yes,I suppose!'m happy it was fesh to your eyes
[10] vulcan @ > vulcan | 8-Oct-02/5:43 AM | Reply
His use of color is enrapturing!
[8] Flattop @ | 7-Oct-02/12:46 AM | Reply
[9] blackball @ | 7-Oct-02/5:39 AM | Reply
i like the line about "the artist's discretion". this is gonna sound stupid but after reading comments on this site and seeing how bitchy people can be about other people's work...well truer words have never been said dude. i'm out...please disregard my foolishness
[7] Reuben Spiteri @ | 8-Oct-02/1:15 PM | Reply

beutiful poem
[10] strider1 @ | 9-Oct-02/9:58 AM | Reply
Yeh, its a bit of alright is this. it seems slightly reminiscent of someone-can't put me finger on it just yet, it'll come to me. Splendid effort old bean-10/10
[n/a] JakeBike @ | 9-Oct-02/1:36 PM | Reply
perhaps the truth does not lie at all. check the eye of the beholder
[10] deleted user @ | 10-Oct-02/2:16 AM | Reply
[n/a] Christof @ > deleted user | 10-Oct-02/2:20 AM | Reply
Well cheers. Care to give a reason why?
[10] dolores @ | 10-Oct-02/11:35 AM | Reply
muy bueno mis peque??os pescados -10/10
[9] heart @ | 14-Oct-02/9:07 PM | Reply
Of all the poems I read here last week, this one left the strongest impression. Of poetry, I am not a worthy judge. But this "reads pretty", and spoke to me all week. Thank you for the thoughts to ponder.
[n/a] Christof @ > heart | 15-Oct-02/7:25 AM | Reply
Well thank you. That means a lot.
[7] daniella @ | 19-Oct-02/10:13 PM | Reply
a tribute to all us rankers. i etched somewhere near the heart and diaphragm.
[8] Tintagiles @ | 23-Oct-02/6:33 AM | Reply
The fact that it actually sounds like a set of instructions makes it gain a lot. Quite wondrous. Cheers.
[8] Nicholas Monson @ | 3-Dec-02/1:58 PM | Reply
So well crafted
[10] Bill Z Bub @ | 11-Jan-03/8:16 AM | Reply
a ten if I ever saw one.
[n/a] Bachus @ | 13-Jan-03/2:39 AM | Reply
666 the mark of the yeast.
[10] deleted user @ | 14-Jan-03/11:06 PM | Reply
Very well written.
[8] pomoxo @ | 18-Jan-03/8:40 PM | Reply
I really like this, its earnestly unadorned my only problem is the use of 'truthfully' in the last line, it feels to me to be a little bland of a word, way too open and vague. to me it seems the meaning you're striving for w/ this word is closer to 'appropriately' err or something that would suggest the artist is placing the score in the place where it will most resonate. truthfully just feels kind of overarching but maybe that's just because i read alot of meaninglessness into the word 'truth' in general
[n/a] Christof @ > pomoxo | 20-Jan-03/8:28 AM | Reply
Interesting... maybe you should just take the word 'truth' at face value here!
[10] deleted user @ | 21-Jan-03/2:15 PM | Reply
Best thing I've read on this site so far...
[10] Ranger @ | 10-Feb-03/12:49 PM | Reply
Mr. Christof, this is one of the finest works of poetry that I've ever, sir, are a genius. May I ask as to whose poems you draw inspiration from? This is the template for the poems that I would love to write but don't have the ability-pleeeease let me know how you learnt to write like this! 10
[n/a] Christof @ > Ranger | 14-Feb-03/8:05 AM | Reply
My God, this is all so flattering. Thank you everybody who's liked my poem so much and commented on it. It truly did come out of nowhere in about ten minutes and so, in answer to your question Ranger, I can't really say if anyone in particular influenced this. My poetic heroes are Edward Thomas, Simon Armitage, Robert Frost, Wordsworth, Eliot, Michael Donaghy, for what that's worth. But thanks once again for your appreciation and praise.
[10] Caducus @ | 13-Feb-03/4:15 AM | Reply
Thought it was about time i commented on this. its all been said by the others your a great poet, a fine poem, what i like is how you used the subject an amplified such beauty from it...10
[8] Mr Pig @ | 3-Mar-03/6:38 AM | Reply
By Jove ! I recall marking this as an 8 but not mentioning what an excellent poem it is, original and intelligent well done
[10] INTRANSIT @ | 10-Mar-03/8:00 PM | Reply
I still have yet to find a superior.
[10] Dan garcia-Black @ | 20-Mar-03/7:09 PM | Reply
Thoughtfully sculpted. This may not be much of a compliment, but I believe it's better than any of mine.

[10] INTRANSIT @ | 22-Apr-03/4:12 PM | Reply
If this ever dissappears, I'll die.
[n/a] Christof @ > INTRANSIT | 4-Jun-03/6:30 AM | Reply
Your coments are always so complimentary, thank you. Your latest stuff has been really good. It's been great to watch you really wrestling with the idea of writing poetry over the last months.
[8] Kitch @ | 12-Jun-03/1:46 AM | Reply
Great idea and well written too.
[10] EAger to Offend @ | 13-Jul-03/3:41 PM | Reply
This is stunning. Truly, the best poem I've read on this site. I'm suspicious: either we have a cheat among us or just a truly great poet.

I can't imagine where those zeroes come from. This is a 10 above other 10s. To me it's the benchmark of the site.
[10] abecedarian @ | 2-Sep-03/1:47 AM | Reply
[10] abecedarian @ > abecedarian | 2-Sep-03/1:50 AM | Reply
The score more truthfully lies elsewhere -
I am embarassed to be ranked above this poem
[n/a] sliver @ | 11-Oct-03/8:12 AM | Reply
I give you another 10 on this most excellent piece, So that my ink driddles might drop below it where they rightfully belong. This one should always be in the #1
[10] Ranger @ | 9-Jun-06/3:35 AM | Reply
If poetic Armageddon arrived, and I could only keep one poem out of every one ever written, it would be this one.

Line six - 'through' instead of 'between'?
[n/a] lmp @ > Ranger | 9-Jun-06/2:06 PM | Reply
i think between works better. unless the cubject is very dehaydrated/skinny, we would not really see the ribs, but the mark between them would indicate the heart's location. through the ribs would be a severe mark indeed, maybe moreso than is neccessary to convey a subtle flaw.
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