From her perch in front of Michael Grave's post-modern Portland building, this majestic copper lady kneels, extending her right hand to the residents and visitors of Portland, Oregon. In her left hand she boldly grasps the trident of Poseidon, clearly claiming her kinship to the ancient Olympian and asserting Portland's ties to the sea. Golden tresses and flowing garb stream out behind her.

Portlandia is the world's second largest hammered copper sculpture, second in size only to The Statue of Liberty. The creation of sculptor Raymond Kaskey, she is 36 ft high and weighs over 6 tons. 20,000 people turned out to welcome her as she was barged up the Willamette then trucked to her permanent home in October 1985. For a few, brief, shining moments before she was lifted to her installation site, the people could caress her copper skin. Never again, as she towers over 5th Avenue, facing West. Yet still she reaches towards us, ever yearning to touch us, her people.

A plaque bears this poem by Portland resident of Ronald Talney:

She kneels down
and from the quietness
of copper
reaches out.
We take that stillness
into ourselves
and somewhere
deep in the earth
our breath
becomes her city.
If she could speak
this is what
she would say:
Follow that breath.
Home is the journey we make.
This is how the world
knows where we are.