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