Todd PortnowitzA Stone Questions Its Sculptor
Folk/Acoustic Rock/AmericanaHyperLink
song created                                

Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:25:40 PM
song updated                               

Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:26:49 PM
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An inquisitive finger-picked indie folk song from Clock Hands Strangle's Distaccati album in which singer/songwriter Todd Portnowitz plaintively narrates from the view of a statue longing to know life and death.

Todd Portnowiz

Originally inspired by Bernini’s sculpture of David (1623, Galleria Borghese)—coiled in wait forever, his stone ready to fling at Goliath— “A Stone Questions its Sculptor” explores the relationship between creator and creation. In the opening lyric, the statue asks its sculptor, “Should I feel grateful he’s chosen me / to give me a shape like his own? / How jealous or fortunate are the one’s he’s left alone?” As the song progresses, the questions become more urgent, the statue prying further and further into the motives of his sculptor, inevitably calling up man’s relationship to God, who purportedly carved us “in his likeness.” Rather than enjoy its noterity, its ideal beauty and immortality, this stone laments eternity in a museum, feeling robbed of its right to rot.
Should I feel grateful he’s chosen me,
to give me a shape like his own?
How jealous or fortunate are the ones he’s left alone?

Should I stay still when the hammer strikes,
as he forges me his ideal?
When the eyes of his worshippers chisel me, too, should I yield?

Tell me, creator, what words you have
for that which at best imitates—
what solace is there for a stone forced to bear your mistakes?

Tell me, creator, what I should feel
when they fasten me to the floor,
when they turn up the blinds and stand guards at every door?

How will I know the trees?
How will the light waste me?
What if I want to rot?
Shaper, have you once given the Shaped a thought?

Should I feel grateful he’s chosen me,
to carve me a face like his own—
forever dissatisfied with his own failure to clone?
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