(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.
Janice Windle's Other Poems
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