Memory Reclines in Contemplation

She languors there
in full bloom of youth,
season to season,
decade to decade,
frozen in contemplation,
thighs swelling beneath
thin silk rendered in bronze,
hair piled
as if ready for sleep.
But some memory troubles her mind.
A nostalgia,
perhaps for parents lost,
a childhood playmate,
a lover…
For her time never passes,
memory never fades,
the future never arrives.

– Eugene A. Melino

Image: “Memory Reclines in Contemplation” / Original photograph taken by author.

About the Sculpture

The sculpture Memory reclines in contemplation in Straus Park in Manhattan, NYC, at the triangle at 107th Street where Broadway and West End Avenue split. According to the plaque at the site, “Straus Park is named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida, who died on April 15, 1912, when the S.S. Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from England to America.”

The plaque goes on to say, “The triangle was named for the Strauses, who lived in a frame house at 27-47 Broadway, near 105th Street, by the Board of Alderman in 1912. The Straus Memorial fountain, in which the bronze figure of Memory reclines in contemplation, was dedicated on April 15, 1915. It was funded by citizens’ contributions and created by sculptor Augustus Lukeman and architect Evarts Tracy, who designed the fountain and exedra.”

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