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Poetry Magnum Opus

Triumphal Quadriga


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Through Greece and to Byzantium

Above the Hippodrome:

To Venice, Paris, then returned

As conquerors rolled on.


To finish where the alder wood

Became as hard as stone:

An ancient race for common good,

That beauty now has won.

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The title alone was intriguing. I did have to look up quadriga. :)


I had a vague "image" in my mind, but thanks to film and TV, and once I knew a quadriga was, a full description came to me: sonorous. Enjoyed this little piece, especially the first 2 lines of the 2nd stanza.

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My fondness for trees had me reading of the predominant use of alder piles in the construction of Venice (which turn as hard as stone when submerged in water). A train of thought that diverted me to St. Mark's Square and the fascinating history of the four horses. It parallels the fall of the Roman Empires and the rise of Venice from respective enigmatic beginnings: past Crusaders, Napoleon, and through to present day admirations.

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Much well said in a very short space. I was intrigued by the near rhymes and had to go back and look again: "... Hippodrone/ ... rolled on" ; "... hard as stone/ ... ... now has won ".

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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