The Price of Art

Written By

By Linda Riebel, Ph.D.

Adjunct faculty in Creativity Studies
Saybrook University


The tree clings to the hill, giving shade and home to birds.

Seizes sunlight, sends its strength below the earth,

Where roots grope along the rocky slope.

It waits for rain, breathes a deep damp arbory breath.

It contracts in winter, huddling in the cold,

Waiting for the warmth of spring.

A man approaches, eyes the tree with calculation,

Unshoulders his axe and strikes. It groans, tips, falls.

He cuts the branches into lengths, into bundles,

Hauls them down the hill. The trail widens.

Other men with like burdens are in sight ahead.

The road leads to Achaia,

Where fires for sculptors’ forges burn without ceasing.




Poet's note: When I remembered that bronze sculptures are made with melted metal, I thought sadly of the trees that were sacrificed to make the fires for heating the bronze. Now, thousands of years after the high point of Grecian artistry, we have the art. I wanted the commemorate the trees.