‘The Bronze is Clotting!’
After Cellini’s casting of Perseus with the Head of Medusa
The words of panicking foundrymen
jolted Cellini with adrenalin,
for if the curdling bronze were cast
the statue’s extremities would be lost
to a metallurgical equivalent of frost.
Thinning the melt needed extra tin:
knowing pewter acted like warfarin,
he stirred platters and dishes in
till the bronze blood would freely run
into the sandy, wax-free skin.
Medusa lies dead, Perseus astride:
triumphant, he holds her head on high,
averting his eyes from its deadly writhe.
Displayed on marble in his loggia home,
Perseus stands cold, and stiff as stone.