Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Dream of Slaves

image borrowed from bing

A Dream of Slaves

Rome shifted from Republic to Empire
as a Thracian named Spartacus set fire
first to his ludus, then several cities;
the mighty Senate realizing their plight dire

when the original 78 gladiator brothers
swelled screaming to a 100,000 others,
breaking chains, dreaming of freedom,
hacking off their bloody tethers.

Assaulted by legions Spartacus fled,
made Vesuvius his army’s bed,
then rappelled down its mountain shoulders
making Glaber’s arrogant militia run red.

“Spartacus, are you afraid to die?”
“No more than giving my birthing cry;
death becomes a slave’s only freedom,
his liberated soul escapes on high.”

On the day that Spartacus died,
thousands of his army cried,
“I am Spartacus, take me,
I will no longer hide.”

Crassus rounded up 6,000 bloodied
survivors, then crucified them for their deed;
how dare they revolt against Mother Rome,
leaving the shards of liberty as seed.

Glenn Buttkus

April 2012

Posted as #5 over on dVerse Poets-FFA

Would you like to hear the author read this Quatrain to you?


Claudia said...

nice..he surely was a political symbol and also a symbol of hope in his time...welcome back glenn...and great seeing you in the pub again...did you bring some snow from montana...? smiles

Glenn Buttkus said...

Yes, I had a bucket of snow in the car, but I can't seem to find it now. Your trip to NYC garnered some cool poetics.

Chris G. said...

It has always been a fascinating tale...and as Claudia noted, quite a symbol to be sure. So are you enjoying the show, Glenn? I've yet to see the last episode in this season, but knowing my history (though that knowledge only helps so far in this series, of course), I can guess.

Chris G. said...

Or was the "modern" Spartacus image just serving as a good image to attach with the lovely poem?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Just a good image, Chris, but I have seen the last episode of Season II, the annihilation of Glaber at the foot of Vesuvius. Have followed the third Servile Wars in all its many guises; like the new STARZ series; sad about Whitfield though.

Brian Miller said... is such a stirring tale...i have not seen this one though...will have to check it out...welcome home man

henry clemmons said...

Your reading added a great depth to your words. Very well done.

Semaphore said...

The classical story of Spartacus sits well in the classical rubaiyat structure, so the flow is natural, as if the tale were originally written that way. What's more, the dramatic momentum that you imbue the story with carries the reader through to the unfolding of the story. Excellent!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

very informative write here. and sorry,but loved the picture i might have read your poem a few times. But honestly thank you for an insightful read.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Such a hero!

Wolfsrosebud said...

Nice capture of this story... really liked this verse:

“Spartacus, are you afraid to die?”
“No more than giving my birthing cry;
death becomes a slave’s only freedom,
his liberated soul escapes on high.”

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Good historical romp

Beachanny said...

As noted before, the form fits well to the narrative. It has no sing/song to it - enjambing the lines gives it a natural narrative flow pushing the reader ahead and not making the rhyme noticeable. It is quite an excellent use of the form. Thank you.