Going back to remarks of a few days ago...
Sculpting the mask - molding it out of materia poetica - the timbre & range of the voice, the character & intellectual focus of the speaker.
& tying this into the vague notions of sculpture per se presented yestahday.
The poet as the salience of a locality in time & space. A sculptural bump.
As such, only the "verbal representative" of what Everyman & Everywoman yis.
The human person - and analogously, poetic speech - as geological salience. (Mandelstam was fascinated with some such notion. On "salience", see Mandelstam the Reader, by Nancy Pollak.)
To envision the human being as mute. As sculpture. Why? Because I'm thinking of this sort of in Whitman's sense of the poet's identification with "dumb humanity".
But not with the bardic or patronizing meaning of giving a voice to the voiceless. No. Rather to conceive of the "dumb human person" as sufficient unto him- or herself. Why? Because a person's deeds are their true speech. The devotion of ordinary "dumb" (mute) persons to ordinary acts of unselfish charity throughout their lives.
"Piety", in the old sense.
I am wandering dumbly far afield, a stony salience in the furrow.