“Lidylle,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1850, WikiArt.

Surf rising between sand and sand, narrow
Isthmus binds mortal and divine, infinity
Of sight and sound, universal desire for
Love, beauty, sacrifices made, heaven sent
Tears, mirth. O! Innocent fire, immortal
Glories realized through art, music, verse,
Creations to which heart-mind cling.

How are these attained? Love of adoring
Face and eyes, rosy flesh amongst sky,
Thirst for watered-wine. Gentle cadence of
Moaning sighs, mortal frames trembling,
Entangled as tree and vine, both ascending
Cloud-bent from marveled shores, reach
Ascending earthly tombs and temples.

Life amongst flowered river streams, broad
Hearts into oceans flowing, by love engaged,
Fresh waters given to brine, beautiful and
Righteous, musical rhythm in waves, so
Subtle sophists say, intercourse, creativity,
Male and female, by childbirth, lovers,
Young and strong, embrace immortality.

“At the Thermae,” John William Godward, 1909, Wikiart.

By new-found life, we are together bound,
Verses of adoration, colours simple-pure,
Tenor of fair voices, echoes repeating, grace
Of deific deeds, we love upon altar of palate
Brush, and pen, such lives we live, yet more
Passions known, for I have been awakened,
Undone by single touch divine.

This poem was written in spirit of Plato’s “The Banquet,”
an extended dialogue about arts, divine, and earthly
Love, desire for immortality in midst of mortality, my
attempt to condense ~50 pages of Plato into four stanzas.

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