Our poetry prompt today is called “Past and Future.” This prompt challenges us to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.
As we are working with catalogues, I used my own reference details and chose three words or subjects on three pages from the three numbers that make up my birth date. This led me to think of links and chains through history, time and in ourselves, which in itself, was prompted by a very recent event in my own and other people’s lives.
In a single sentence, I am simultaneously informed and confused,
Enlightened and bewildered by this chronological catalogue.
The year is 452 AD – and the city of Venice first began to be known.
This droplet of knowledge is now nowhere near enough.
How could this have come to pass? How did a fully grown city dawn upon the eyes at sunrise?
Had she been in hiding all this time?
Did the gentlemen of Verona, on passing Padua never glance left and ponder –
What lady is that which basks in the lagoon and bathes in Adriatic waters?
Perhaps she rose that year, and on lifting her petticoats of canals and islands,
Curtsied and introduced herself in charming voice announcing – “Buongiorno, sono Venezia, al tuo servizio”
If you were to unplug my head and remove my braintape.
There would be no trace of the above information.
It did not exist – it was never there – it could not be erased.
Installation occurred today – just now – now it can be erased.
Its father is a contemporary sequential prompt.
Its mother, a thirst for knowledge; their DNA combined to bring you here.
All births require assistance in one form or another,
Even battles have midwives, and some midwifes wars.
When Agnodice, like Venice, raised her tunic,
Her intentions were not courteous, but to expose herself and her malefactors.
Her act of anasyrma defied and denied the physicians of Athens their victory,
In revealing her numinous place, she sent gifts to Cellier and Boivin et al.
There are more chains that bind us than break our will,
Those stars that gave us Athens and Venice – gaze upon us still.