Of all ye gods, that crown Olympus high,
Who yet remains that man’s not brought to heel?
When aircraft daily pierce great Zeus’s sky,
And Neptune’s depths have long since been revealed.

Alas, the greenhouse did Demeter in,
And eBay showed poor Hermes to the door;
Now Hestia runs on gas, the forge an engine,
And small blue pills cut Bacchus to his core.

O how divorce court made Queen Hera stamp,
And Pallas, too, when Deep Blue claimed check-mate,
The twins out-done by fact’ry farms and lamps;
Even warring Mars now fights behind displays.

So fell the proud Olympians, save for one;
Only Aphrodite leaves our scientists stunned.



How diverse must the world have seemed at first!
When azure waves made marks on untouched shores,
Bright galaxies across dark skies did burst,
And endless forests bloomed in rainbow scores.

Long have we known to reap what first was sown
While green leaves rust, and with the wind elope.
Why else would human eye hold optic cone,
But to perceive the colors of our scope?

Yet now have we these gifts neglected left,
As hulking grey obscures these natural boons—
I fear lest our children find a world bereft,
Its natural wonders in concrete entombed.

Above all else, to them these words entrust:
Conflate not what we can with what we must.


Edward Hoke is a Junior at Northwestern University, studying Acting. He is originally from Princeton New Jersey.


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8 Responses

  1. Steven Shaffer

    Not trying to sound too pompous here, I read 12/03/17 as a sadness for the loss of humans’ sense of mystery and the magic of being. I like it, nice job!

    “Above all else, to them these words entrust:
    Conflate not what we can with what we must.”
    is very quotable!

    • James A. Tweedie

      Mr. Hoke,

      I found your poems to be well-crafted, relevant, witty, entertaining, captivating, poignant, memorable and quotable. I also join with Stephen Shaffer in commending the terminal couplet of your second sonnet.

      Well done. I hope there are more like these.

  2. David B. Gosselin


    Very nice. I especially liked the first sonnet. “Only Aphrodite leaves our scientists stunned” is a wonderful line and does justice to the idea of poetry expressing that which is otherwise inexpressible.

    I thought I would share what has marked me the most in my life, in terms of understanding what classical poetry is about.

    Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Motivführung Principle in English Poetry

    Keats’ Great Odes and the Sublime

    I would say even those who are truly passionate about classical poetry have struggled to grasp the deeper nature of Keats’ Odes because they were such a dizzying accomplishment. A young man who had barely begun his life, managed to leave us with several Mona Lisa’s. What does this mean about the nature of mind and mortality?



  3. Fr. Richard Libby

    These are two very good and thoughtful poems. Congratulations!

  4. David Watt

    Both sonnets contain memorable lines, satisfying endings, and ample evidence of thought. Very well done!

  5. David Hollywood

    Very satisfying poetry, and appealing to my own old fashioned naive nostalgia for the imaginative myths that fed my senses for what I should prefer, but which these days no longer has emotional opportunity. Many thanks.


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