Funeral Mask from Mycenae
once thought to be that of Agamemnon
There was someone who lived,
who ate bitter olives, fish
pulled from the Adriatic,
garlic, onions, sesame.
And when he died a son
took a sheet of gold,
raised the hammer, beat the shining
metal into the topography of the face--
eyebrows in a shallow arch,
broad cheekbones, downturned mouth,
closed eyes—every blow
driving his father deeper into history.
Ruth Bavetta is a poet and artist whose poems have appeared in Rattle, Nimrod, American Poetry Review, Tar River Review, North American Review and many other journals and anthologies. Her books are Fugitive Pigments and Flour, Water, Salt (Futurecycle Press), Embers on the Stairs (Moon Tide Press), and No Longer at This Address (Aldrich Press). She has been a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee.
1/9/2020 07:33:02 pm
Ruth, I love this so much. Your poems always exhibit your skill as an artist – just the right details to create the picture with an economy of words. Then comes the big bang ending that leaves me gasping for air. Wish I'd written this.
1/10/2020 01:41:08 pm
First, how you see the world about you, then how you put that vision into words - I'm always in awe of your ability to paint such pictures. Thanks for sharing.
1/16/2020 12:17:14 pm
Southern Californians, come see this sublime poet read from her extensive works at the Escondido Municipal Art Gallery on Sunday Feb 2nd at 1 pm
1/20/2020 04:26:43 pm
Ruth, Such a powerful poem. I love how we imagine this man alive...and then, OH...his son immortalizes him, and "buries" him.
2/2/2021 08:31:34 pm
Beautiful, Ruth--and such an unexpected ending, although it makes perfect sense. I LOVE it!
2/2/2021 08:40:24 pm
Una bellissima poesia che fonde storia e mito dai tratti mediterranei. Non potevano esserci parole più adatte a descriverne il doloroso splendore. Complimenti dall'Italia!
2/3/2021 12:58:04 am
I love how how you breathed life into a death mask, the images are vivid, and the ending is brilliant Congratulations!
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