Saturday, September 4, 2010

Renaissance Humanist

Renaissance Humanist
by Gideon Burton

These books are different: a world not ours,
a better one, yet still within our reach.
The splendors known in Greece, Rome's shining stars--
were due far less to riches than to speech.
Demosthenes or Cicero, alive
with lucid language, mesmerizing crowds,
--and miracle!-- orations still survive,
each metaphor pristine, their force unbowed.
What if the coliseum lies decayed?
The arts that moved the masses stayed intact.
Rome's theater of life can be replayed,
if rhetoric is studied, speech exact.
     Let us begin our mighty, wordy task,
     to imitate, revive the gloried past.

Photo: flickr - philobiblon


  1. Nothing survives unless it is written down--yet who knows if what is written is truly accurate? Those revisionist historians make me cranky! Richard the third, who were you really?

  2. I like your definition of riches. So true.