Janice Windle


(Amsterdam) The Etcher


The artist bends over his bench in the window;
here he can deepen dark dusk into night,
create holy fire or shadows of pitch,
make a mist or a scatter of light.

The artist bends over his bench in the window -
inside, the stipple of needle on ground,
the bubbling acid, the stink of the ink,
the creak of the press as the wheel is turned round.

The artist bends over his bench in the window
bringing his image to its final state;
outside, the ripple of water and barges
while Rembrandt is drawing, is scoring the plate.

Rembrandt bent over his bench in the window
three hundred and fifty years past and yet still
his world is alive in this Amsterdam studio
in lines bitten deep for the black ink to fill.

Submitted: Monday, November 02, 2009
Edited: Saturday, February 13, 2010

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  • Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (11/2/2009 5:37:00 AM)

    Your poem has impeccable rhythm and rhyme as you bring to life an artist's creation. I love so many of the words e.g. stipple the needle, stink of the ink, bubbling acid, the creak of the press.
    You drew me right in to the poem and I enjoyed every word. 10 (Report) Reply

  • Susan Jarvis (11/2/2009 4:22:00 AM)

    A breathtakingly beautiful poem that captures the industious visions and pungent aromas of an artistic era. Some wonderful literary flourishes at play here. The admirable use of consonance and assonance contribute to the sheer magnificence of this linguistic painting. S :) (Report) Reply

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