|Self-portrait with Hand on Brow|
1910, Käthe Kollwitz
Elbow on knee, and brow sustainedThat's Melville's depressed divinity student in the opening canto of Clarel. Newly arrived in Jerusalem, head on hand Clarel "sits, and broods alone" in his room, at twilight.
All motionless on sidelong hand,
A student sits, and broods alone. -- Clarel Part 1 Canto 1
At first glance, Clarel looks like he transferred out from the start of Mattie Griffith's poem The Student:
ALONE he sat. His broad and lofty brow
Was bent upon his thin, pale hand...
"The Student" was printed in Sartain's Magazine for January 1852 and first collected in Poems by Mattie Griffith (New York, 1853) pages 84-87.
Griffith's student sits "All alone" at twilight and mournfully contemplates successive deaths of dear loved ones, seemingly his entire family. He covets and wins fame which fails, however, to cure his inward grieving.