The Softness Of Water And The Degas Bronze!

Bronze By Degas
Bronze By Degas

One of our oldest friends was home from Australia last week and spent the night at our house. Vivienne Glance is one our best kept secrets and most cultured, literary exports.

Viv as we call her, was born in Germany and grew up in Southern England. She moved to London to study science at Imperial College and some years after graduating, she retrained as an actor.

After many years writing, performing and producing for theatre, she emigrated to Australia in 1995.

Shortly after moving to Australia, she began developing her gift for poetry with the Freemantle group, OOTA(Out Of The Asylum Writers).

Viv has since been published in print and online. She has also appeared in anthologies, ‘The Weighing of the Heart‘ and ‘Amber Contains the Sun’.

Viv has an enduring interest in the expression, exploration and critiquing of science, through art.

In 2009, she published a wonderful book of poems, entitled ‘The Softness of Water’. One of my favourite poems is ‘Bronze by Degas’. Degas, is also one of my wife’s favourite artists.

As a tribute to a talented actor, playwright, poet and friend, I have included this poignant poem below. I hope you like it?

Bronze by Degas

Is she at the beginning or end of her bow? Foot pointed, slightly bent waist, back straight stopped mid-movement

rise or descent? Head lifted, eyes wide-at the beginning or the end of a smile?

He has teased us with his moulding thumbs, pulled shape from clay

her just woman breasts, childish eyes her eagerness to please.

Coquettish pose, silk covered legs-how he must have adored those legs, running fingers over clay, until their roundness was smooth.

He played with the frills of her tutu, ruffling them like plumage around her hips, each layer, each thread, teased out. She still has the waist of a child.

He encased this clay in plaster-womb of white-filled the inverse space with molten metal and we are left with the cold touch of a solid moment of emotion stopped.

The End

Viv went back to Australia on Wednesday. We hope it is not another 10 years before we see her again.

If you have any comments about this article or the poetry of Vivienne Glance, I would be delighted to hear from you. My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the digital circus.

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