From Cleopatra’s Kingdom of Idolatry

Posted: April 10, 2011 by 7efellight in Poetry

Cleopatra’s Kingdom of Idolatry in a series of volumes may amount to as many as 1200 sonnets. As Ayn Rand revered the ideal man, so the ancient Alexandrians honored their ideals in statues of Zeus.

Chorus of Sculptors No. 13

Not blunt with tools, exact proficiency
We bring to marble, finding curvature
No facile course. Palatial artistry,
Not falling in plethoric faults, demure

Dimension should maintain. Our rightful craft
Restrains delineation from the real
Defects of nature. Semblances aloft,
That seem Olympian, bearing the ideal

In blocks of idols, only pertinent
To wholeness should appear. The loftiness
Ensculpted in his face may represent
No frailty, man’s or god’s, but should impress

The kingship of exemplars masculine
Upon Egyptians, who’d to Zeus be kin.

Chorus of Sculptors No. 14

In strenuous subtleties detractive tools
We’ve wielded and defectless trimming can
Maintain. Our guild, proficient in the rules
Of breaking rock, in practice Pheidian

Would prove. From many chips one shape we’d make,
Immured to fashion Zeus’s facial set.
Whole pounds of marble parings we should break
Away, this block reducing till we get

The god. Memorial shapeliness, pursued
In marble, must subtract superfluous dust.
The right distinctions of his face, not rude
In feature, render fatherhood august.

We chisel slabs to shape Olympians, none
Blunted by linear edges in the stone.


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