ANTIQUITY


Ancient Greeks preferred it to chronicles

for poetry is the art of maybe,

the alchemy which turns fact into song.

 

‘Antiochus honours the saviours of men,

the immortals, Asclepius of

the gentle hands, Hygeia, Panakeia.’

On the margins of barbarity

and wilderness,  a Greek army doctor

commissioned a recondite altar – found

some seventeen hundred years later

when Chester’s Market Hall, its pediment

topped with cornucopia, was flattened.

 

Centuries before the Twentieth

was stationed here, the most famous sculptor

working at Olympia, inscribed

his wine jug, ‘I belong to Pheidias’.

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