Read this beautiful piece by Debarati Mehta, translated from the Bengali by Carolyne Wright, as it appeared in Artful Dodge 46/47:
The Absolute Artist
From the lotus pond’s edge, the calming lake,
he brought clay.
Straining drop by drop the Subarnarekha’s stream
he fashioned that festival’s idol.
On the fast-flowing Ganga’s bank,
alone, he dug into the breast of the earth
toward the primitive red-hued god
whose distant myths are heard in the blood,
Fleeing deliberately, in silence,
from the think of things,
infatuated with hell’s bitterest enchantments,
he immersed himself
and brought up thick muddy silt.
Or else he looked on astonished as
the casts of hot soft wax were hardening
and his mother’s flawless lover’s face
came into form in his hands.
Sweating from head to foot,
did he sort out metals the color of stone
and bring them up from the blind quarry
to make puppets with excessive care?
After two million years, meteors shower
unearthly fire of stone onto the roof —–
like the artist’s greatest masterpiece
there’s no space for any more creation in his work.
The artist owes no explanations;
why should he?