Monday, May 19, 2014


Far from Palantine Hill
   where eventually it will be re-instated,
this statue of Apollo for the present
  lies prone in Hermippos' workshop.
Derricks and a broad-wheeled cart
  drawn by six horses were required to haul it,
it  was a feat of engineering.
 to tilt it onto its straw bed
Now the surgery can begin
  after prayers that no hidden vein in the marble
    will cause a fracture
   at the incision around the neck.
Then, if skill and calculation
   are rewarded with luck,
  the ponderous head will fall,
to be replaced by another:
 the portrait bust , already prepared, of Gaius
affectionately known as Caligula.
To whom the senate accords divine  status
    by an unanimous vote,
offering this statue as tribute
in  the hope of a new Parnassus.

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