Monday, April 6, 2015

The Floor Scrapers (Gustave Caillebotte), Sonnet #237

The worker who can concentrate,
Lose himself in the hardest task,
Scrapes up time at double the rate,
Creating what? He doesn't ask.
Muscles are meant for heat and toil,
The eyes for precise measurement,
The voice for whispering contempt,
Listening, for the night bell's toll.
It takes a man to scrape a floor.
(God offers no alternative.)
He will go to bed drunk and sore,
Not knowing what it means to live.
The half-finished floorboards await
The restoration of their fate.