The truth about statues

I wrote this very short memoir/essay as an exercise at my writing group’s meeting yesterday.  Because I haven’t posted in over a week, I decided to share it today.

The Truth About Statues

When I was very young, I thought that statues were actually dead people encased in concrete.  It made sense, as every statue I’d ever seen appeared to be a well-known dead person.  But one statue greatly troubled me.  It was a child with wings, an angel gazing down into a dark pool of water.

“Mommy,” I asked once.  “Was that a real little boy they made that statue from?”

“Probably,” she said.

“Did his parents want him to be a statue?” I persisted.

“Probably so.”

The thought appalled me.  “Would you ever let me be a statue?”

“I suppose,” my mother replied.  She was busy ironing and watching her soap opera on television.  “Would you like to be a statue?”


About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. My blog is a space for playing with ideas about creativity, innovation, lifelong learning, and the nature of "insight."
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20 Responses to The truth about statues

  1. lilithu says:

    I was always fascinated with statues! I thought they came to life when you weren’t looking!

  2. goddesstale says:

    This got me thinking…if I was a statue, what kind of pose would I be? I mean it ends up being sort of a statement…so what would make the strongest statement? Thanks for the post!

    • You’re right. I hadn’t thought of that. It ends up being a statement, so you’d want to choose something attractive but also uniquely “you.” Now I’m wondering why the standard statue of my childhood seemed to be a man in a suit standing with one foot forward and one hand tucked into the front of his shirt. Checking for a heartbeat maybe? Thanks for your insight!

  3. I just love that story!

  4. Emily J. says:

    Oh my! That’s hilarious. I wonder how many disturbing things I’ve unwittingly told my daughters because I was distracted!

  5. Jessica Slavin says:

    Wow! That’s great. It also reminds me of the Weeping Angels episodes in Dr. Who, so creepy!

    • I must confess I’ve never seen “Dr. Who.” Watching it is on my list of things to do someday when I have more time. (It’s a fun list, meant to counteract empty nest issues when that unhappy time arrives in the


      somewhat distant future. Maybe I can use my “fun things to do someday” list as a blog post sometime 🙂 )

      • Jessica Slavin says:

        I hadn’t ever seen it either, until a couple years ago, despite the fact that some of my friends have always been obsessive fans. I have only watched the first few of the new series’ seasons. They are great! And I predict based on this poem that you will especially love the episode Blink. 🙂

  6. Jessica Slavin says:

    Oops, I should have said, poetic memoir/essay!

    • Ha! It sort of reads like a little prose poem, though. Don’t you think? Very self-contained, with the “totality of effect” that Poe talks about in “The Poetic Principle” 🙂

      • Jessica Slavin says:

        Yes–I honestly thought it was until I reread your intro

      • Jessica Slavin says:

        Wow that was such a good read–thanks, Katie! I hadn’t read that essay before.

      • Me, neither. But I knew it was Poe who had talked about the idea of stories being brief and having a dominant impression. I couldn’t remember the quote/term exactly so went looking for it . . . and found the essay.

        I agree; it’s a really good read! I can’t believe it never came up in a lit class for me. You learn something new every day, I guess, and Poe’s essay is what I learned today 🙂

      • Jessica Slavin says:

        And lucky for me that you did!

  7. Pingback: Buddha mummy proves truth about statues | Katherine Wikoff

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