I am in awe of your talent. Moreover
I am astonished by your output. The detail alone—
curly hair, drapery, skin and bones, grimness
softness, colored flesh and glowing clothes
Were you distracted by the weight of your own oeuvre?
The ponderous scholarship that defined your genius?
But the question I have is did you squint
over those cross-hatchings did you rub your eyes
or curse new commissions? Did your wife suffer
your fits of melancholy or did you put on a brave
face or simply close the workshop door?
There is relief in busyness. Or did you truly
believe every pencil line paint stroke wood cut
important and a great legacy to the world?
Believe in your art because you were praised
or because you had no dark pit waiting
whenever the eye or hand took a rest?