This poem is not mine – thankyou to Neill Crawford who usually writes film scripts but has allowed me to publish his poem because it means a lot to both of us, and maybe many others who have seen this sculpture at the Edinburgh gallery and responded in their own ways.
Man of steel stands astride over time,
Modern and ancient. A memory of what came before and what remains.
Panels beaten, galvanised, seamed together into a leviathan,
A monster. Unstoppable.
Moving into the future.
The patchwork armour of shining metal holds fragility,
Soldered together. The tissue of scars there to see.
Pieces of scrap, salvaged, saved. The myth laid bare. The steel man is lame,
His silver skin stretched taut over shrunken parts.
One side of him is withered.
I know you ask yourself day after day,
While you are fixing and mending. Am I man or machine?
Steel made into flesh. The mechanical frame of your giant body shrinks away,
And I see myself hammered clear on the forge.
Inside the smithy of the gods.