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Featured Guest Poet C.E. Chaffin

At the Lincoln Memorial

"If I could save the Union by freeing the slaves, I would;
"If I could save the Union by not freeing the slaves, I would."

Up three tiers of steps--
your mammoth shoe at eye level.
Gargantuan hands rest easy now,
wrinkled robes in static waterfall
flow from your throne, a Greek
convention in American marble,
Jefferson's capital.

Your face looks younger -- sculptors
using death masks often do that.
Your great eyes, so often scored
by laughter now stare, grimly serene,
across the reflecting pool
at that less human monument
of your spiritual Father:
he the machine, stolid, you the Christ
embalmed in stone under cool portico here,
resurrected in cold recall.

Ah, Mr. Lincoln, tell us a joke
to humanize your face! The one about
Grant and the whiskey would do--
it doesn't do you justice to just sit there
when, after black humor,
justice was your strong suit!

August, 1999

C. E. Chaffin's Questions:

1) Do the puns work?

2) Opinions about the effectiveness of sculptor's death's head reference sought.

I love the use of the resurrection and allusion to Christ.... I truly enjoyed this work, and invite your comments to my work. You are so gifted. Syyd Raven
Syyd Raven
USA - Sat Aug 21 16:25:14 1999

Yes, Yes, everything works. What a great idea to write a poem about this statue!
Wanda M. Wandas
USA - Sat Aug 21 18:21:08 1999
It's so well worked on. I saw the satue two years ago when I was in US and you refreshed it so vividly as if I were there. I love the last stanza. Indeed, an excellent job. Thanks for the read. Paula
Paula Grenside
ITALY - Fri Aug 27 04:02:40 1999
Thank you, all. Nice not to have my chops busted for once, as I am used to at "open" boards. I am working on a tryptich of this, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, in that order-- the order in which I beheld them for the first time, Summer 1999. Thine, CE Melic Roundtable Suite 101 Article
CE Chaffin
USA - Tue Aug 31 13:44:06 1999
Very good work....I felt myself walking up the steps...a novel careful not to beat to the ground with the other two monument poems.
Kyle Anderson
USA - Sun Sep 5 21:47:29 1999

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