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Home > Columns > Paul Schweer > January, 2006 - An Original Copyist

An Original Copyist by Paul Schweer


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It's only after having proved oneself as a good copyist that you can reasonably try to do a still life of a radish.

-- Edgar Degas

With a glass full again -- taste of dark water
drawn from smoked earth, distant harvest.
Breath of wood, saltwater whispers --
night settled, and he grew quiet.

I asked what came and went
through my mind. And he told,
I suppose, what he knew.
He said I was afraid.

He asked whom I try most to be like.
He asked who it is I imagine my model.
I said I don't try to copy anyone.

He didn't like that. Or maybe he just didn't believe me.
Nothing works, he said, pushing it away.
Entering, he said, work on entering.


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