"Art and Literature," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1867, WikiArt photo.
“Art and Literature,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1867, WikiArt photo.

Part 5: Poetry of Ancients

What more could any family endure, young
Mother and her infant son released to flame?
My children and her son, each in turn threw
Lighted wood into our farm cottage, crying,
Praying, thatched roof heaven-roared ablaze,
Collapsing, end of all we knew, even gods
Were touched, fates not understood. For every
Passage denied, another unfolded, my dead
Husband so guiding. Flame-lit sky attention
Caught of wealthy war-widow, her empty villa
And heart, new home for five children. An
Older-woman of five decades, she longed
Mentor be, reading and debating Aristotle,
Plato, and philosophy, wealth beyond gold or
Jewels, privileges oft denied women of ancient
Greece. As with older women of wealth and
Wisdom, I have reached an age where life and
Death merge, where I can reflect on years of
Family and love, specially that night I wrested
Dying infant, root-wood twisted, from mother’s
Knife-cut womb. For her surviving son, he never
Tasted battle, teacher he became. Who or what
I am now is difficult to discern, for I lived and
Died thousand ages past, yet I write poetically
This day. Alas, I remember poetry of ancients
Has endured, preserved in hearts and on papyri,
Words immortal as gods, bring meaning to lives
Past, life anew: “Years measured as flowing
Sand, all things I have endured, and of these
Things — wondrous and horrific — I still love
But you.” Thus ends this poem in five parts,
Women and Affairs of Greece.

Not because of length, but because of depths this
poetry originated, it was moving to write, much
like self-revelation, b
ut whose revelations, and
who does the narrator love? Thanks for reading.

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