Lit Mag Poetry

The Parthenon: A Desecrated Naos

Predominating the greatest city
From atop a majestic mountain
The sacred temple of Pallas Athena
 
A monument to mathematical perfection,
The Parthenon’s serene columns
Bear the burden of an evanesced secret
 
Scarred by time and hatred,
The glorious naos
Still stands in a flood of sky
 
But a crucial fragment was lost
To the unforgivable hubris
Of a mortal named Elgin
 
Immorally, illegally,
Elgin gashed the heart and minced the skin
Of the temple that survived from ancient days
 
Caryatids with hair of plaited stone
And vacant eyes staring straight
Weep intangible tears for their departed sister
 
Chiseled centaurs and gods
Like movement frozen in marble 
Are torn from the earth that formed them
 
Shackled sculptures
To be scattered and shattered
Across a distant land called Britain
 
Broken, crippled, defeated,
Supported by metal skeletons,
The Parthenon persists for her remaining pieces
 
But it is every person’s responsibility
To make their voices heard
So that the Parthenon can stand whole once more.

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