The poems of 'Rodin, Meunier& Minne'

Poems inspired by the sculptures of Rodin, Meunier & Minne

Discover all the poems of the exhibition 'Rodin, Meunier & Minne' here. 

Room 1.J

The Thinker - Rodin

JUST WAIT

Author: Paul Bogaert - Poem for adults

 

How it all went.

and how it's going now.

 

Health and safety at work.

It's almost finished.

I dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Think like a ton of bricks.

1. Health. 1.1. Problem statement.

 

'There he is again'.

‘Stuck on his square meter'. 'For how long?'

'His posture'. 'His bitter epistles'.

'The so-called progressive insight'.

'Oh well'. 'So sad'.

 

I can hear you.

 

GRANDPA IS THINKING

Author: Peter Mangel Schots - Poem for young visitors

 

My grandpa is thinking, I can see it in his posture

His chin looks for support on a hand

I look at him, he’s getting older

His shoulders bending slightly toward the ground

 

what is he thinking of, what could be going on in his mind

could it be something from long ago or has he read

something in the newspaper

that made him think so deeply

that he can’t see or hear now

 

or is he pondering his dinner for tonight

perhaps he’ll let go of his thoughts later

and we could go for a bike ride or a walk in the forest

he’ll buy me ice cream, chocolate, or a pancake

 

my grandpa tends to think and sits so still

it seems he doesn’t want us to approach him

he’d close his eyes as if he’s dreaming

I think I know: he must be thinking of grandma

Room 1.K

Christ in the Tomb - Meunier

STONE FRUIT

Author: Herlinda Vekemans - Poem for adults

 

His life seemed nothing more

than a ripple

The arms weak and defeated

laid low within the lines of his life

 

His body wasted away

light in white

and thin in cloth

The pale flesh carved deeply

 

His life now seemed wholly

laid down and stowed away

in the half shell of the grave

IN A NUTSHELL

Author: Herlinda Vekemans - Poem for young visitors

 

Here he lies

dead before you

thin and limp as a rag

worn down and written off

He was no king

and no wizard

 

yet he did not stay

in the dark cave of the grave

he found the way to those who were looking for him

so here he lies, over 2000 years later

here and now once more for you

stone-dead, but then again

not quite yet

The Firedamp - Meunier

MADAM

Author: Paul Bogaert - Poem for young visitors

 

Madam, is that your son?

Madam?

 

He was strong and smart and always

well-tempered. We will examine how

this could have happened.

Madam, do you recognize anything? Is that his chin?

That knee perhaps? He was

beloved by all of us.

And now deceased, alas. Is it

your brother, miss? Your spouse, ma’am? Those are

his things, be sure to take

them home. We will examine how

this can be avoided from now on.

I promise you:

We will not leave it at this.

 

Ma’am?

She can’t believe it.

BROAD DAYLIGHT

Author: Paul Bogaert - Poem for adults

 

No one gave me hope. Yet I kept

hoping against hope.

I had so much false hope.

Until now. My dear.

 

In hideous light I must

face this. But even with the lights switched off

I cannot erase this image

of you. My dear.

 

This raft is floating nowhere. In this terrible

nearness I become and remain

your next of kin. My dear.

Mourning Mother with her two children (Sorrow) - Meunier

SURROUNDED

Author: Herlinda Vekemans - Poem for adults

 

The sky opened its arms

only for birds and clouds

There was no abyss

the soil did not give way

The river remained cold and mute

The sea wanted to see no one

 

There was no

Nothing was

It was the children 

SHELTER

Author: Paul Bogaert - Poem for young visitors

 

Mom, I'm sure he'll come.

You can breathe more slowly now. He knows all the ways

Back home. He's never been

Scared of thunder.

 

Mom, 'poor souls', what does that mean?

And what does ‘blind alley’ mean?

Is it the people, mom, do you want

the people not to see us, see you cry?

 

Maybe he bumped into something dangerous.

A pit, I think. A setback. In the distance, I can hear him

hiding.

Room 1.L

Old mine horse - Minne

A HORSE LIKE ME

Author: Lieve Desmet – Poem for young visitors

 

Mom, I'm sure he'll come.

You can breathe more slowly now. He knows all the ways

Back home. He's never been

Scared of thunder.

 

Mom, 'poor souls', what does that mean?

And what does ‘blind alley’ mean?

Is it the people, mom, do you want

the people not to see us, see you cry?

 

Maybe he bumped into something dangerous.

A pit, I think. A setback. In the distance, I can hear him

hiding.

OLD MINING HORSE

Author: Lieve Desmet – Poem for adults

 

look at me standing cramped and crippled

stare at my stony eyes

enter my dejected head

caress me but make no mistake

 

the companions' ashes still burn in my fur

in my shoulder stripped bare you read all their names

I am not an urn but a talking grave

smoldering under my manes

 

Make no mistake I pull you caged through the shaft

shift the blackness before your eyes

you delve the ore of fathers, sons

it is I who guides you

The Prodigal Son - Minne

BLESSING

Author: Lieve Desmet – Poem for adults

 

to pull your naked body from my sludge

from the knot I tied around your neck

I bear you and collapse

 

now that earth steals your warmth

I cannot keep us afloat

oh soft skin I fought

 

I want you bared

borrow my rib, acknowledge your gender

trade my tense thighs for a womb  

 

hear my last words

you are born from me

hoor nog mijn laatste woord

je bent uit mij geboren

FATHER

Author: Lieve Desmet – Poem for young visitors

 

release my boyish body

the son shaved by your hand is no more

I sharpened the knife, disappeared

my voice unbroken

 

I had to crush your rules out of your reach

strike a match to light my path

with the sparks of my heart

 

father, keep a coat ready

soften your grip

and look – through the tears in my pants

you can see me standing on my own two feet

Balzac, study in a Monk's Habit - Rodin

BALZAC

Author: Peter Mangel Schots - Poem for adults

 

You demanded a dead man.

I give you an eternal one.

 

You demanded a body in fashion.

I give you a temple collapsing

in sagging ground, dilating diaphragm,

throat filled with lumps. No tailor, doctor,

or lover sees bodies more naked than I.

 

You demanded a monstre sacré.

I give you a monk, a playboy, a gentleman

and a slave, a rancid and sweaty aesthete.

 

You demanded a writer.

I give you a fighter, a warrior,

a boxer in his cape on his way to the ring.

Room 1.M

The three Holy Women at the Tomb - Minne

TRIPLETS

Author: Peter Mangel Schots - Poem for young visitors

 

We are the triplet sisters

Mary, May, and Mitch

almost no one can see

which sister is which

 

only mom and dad

can tell us apart

they have a little trick

that was confusing from the start

 

because all three of us wear

the same clothes with care

and we style our hair

like three of a pair

 

We wanted to look

like identical heads

so from the wardrobe we took

three big sheets for our beds

 

we crawled into the linen

and hid our faces too

they would never be able

to tell who’s who

 

but mom said

Mary on the left, and May on the right; such an easy riddle

and dad could add:

Mitch is standing in the middle   

 

we asked how they

could do this so well 

but they only laughed:

we will never tell.

LAMENTING WOMEN

Author: Peter Mangel Schots - Poem for adults

 

Around the grave we circle

the women who will take over from me.

 

They rise from milk and ash

and as they touch their breasts I hear

their nails break. No sound

 

is loud enough. Their lamentations

are measured and cruel. For appearances

Kleenex is produced,

according to the rules of grief

mascara is orchestrated.

 

Doing this makes them transparent:

 

to fret over my vacuum,

to fill what I want to avoid,

to shatter the words I cannot say

on their chests,

 

to choose the moment of silence

 

when only birds crow and ropes groan

between wood and mud.

 

They put

tiny puzzle pieces of earth

back into place.

The burghers of Calais - Rodin

BURGHES OF CALAIS

Author: Peter Mangel Schots - Poem for adults

 

Let us go. This morning

Will not know an evening. We have hung our surrender

around our necks, left our shoes

to the dogs. We are not brave,

not grand, not confident, not united,

chaotic like a flock of seagulls

over Calais.

 

Look at Eustache, the first to breathe fire,

how the gluttonous ground already tugs his wrists.

But he is going. Look at Jean, who carries the keys to the city

like his firstborn. Look at Andrieu, how sudden

despair bends him over like a poplar

in a gust of wind. And Jacques, the brave, who takes

the first steps and stops thinking.

 

We are going. The summer sun claims

our naked heads. Trumpets. A thousand citizens

hide in our coats. But we will suffice

like strange fruits hanging from the trees,

like seeds in the sand to feed the city once more

with their harvest. We suffice.