The University Record, March 29, 1993


Reader critiques poem

The following is a response to a poem published in the March 8, 1993, issue of the University Record by retired physics technician Les Thurston. Perhaps it never occurred to Mr. Thurston to read the book on Daedalus that any docent would be happy to procure. It describes the artistic intelligence behind the creation of the sculpture, how it changes its form as the viewer moves around it; how it changes in texture in response to the weather. The idea of a fallen wing still so alive and conversant with its environment makes a poignant statement about human idealism and freedom within our self-imposed limitations, and the limitations within nature.

Mr. Thurston’s cranky ranting and rusty prose is merely in the service of a bad and tasteless joke. He expects, correctly (unfortunately) that the philistines of this community will nod comfortably to his ornate suggestion that this distinctive piece is merely a pile of junk. I suppose it is too much to assume that someone affiliated with the University in Mr. Thurston’s capacity would be able to defend an open-minded point of view that can appreciate works like the Ginnever. Perhaps he should stick to poking fun at scientific jargon and shopping with coupons.

All I can say in thanks to Thurston is that I felt moved to poetry myself ...

In Defense of Daedalus

Mr. Thurston must I say, it seems to Me

That you have gone a bit astray and up a


You belong behind your “mellow columns”


Where you can chant your rusty rant from

Spring to Fall.

The setting’s not been spoiled but Saved

Activated instead of just Paved

By that “jumble of jagged metal and


Mr. Thurston Must I say, it seems to Me

If only more artists would work with such


If only the world were a constant art Fair

And it doesn’t deny, but acknowledges


This Henge-like work you wish a Hex on.

You don’t seem to care that it DOES have

a Name

Or what Sanford would say about freedom

and Flame.

Must we accept ANY presence as empirical


Or deny any artist the freedom to Act

What if for you a more distant Site

But your already up north and far to the


Mark E. Nielsen

museum technician, Museum of Art