"Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh" by Giuseppe Diziani‘From a Prophet to the Emperor’ by Sterling Osborne The Society December 18, 2020 Culture, Poetry 6 Comments The corpses laid before your cast iron throne will never wake again. Their eyes alone accuse you from the veinous marble floor, but you dismiss their gaze and look once more to conquest: paring down the enemy, their slaughter sung by tongues of royalty, the footsteps of your soldiers filling streets and alleyways, dividing into fleets the sons and fathers at your beck and call. You fear no armies: you’ll command them all! ‘Til wives who weep and whisper for the dead beseech the men to beg a ransom for your head. Sterling Osborne lives in south Florida. He is a private tutor and has been published in the literary magazine Ancient Paths. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Margaret Coats December 18, 2020 The poem presents a well-wrought picture of a murderous tyrant. I’m intrigued by the cast iron throne; we usually imagine something more luxurious for such a person, but it does suit the man’s character. The last line is effectively lengthened; we understand that the wives hope to break out of an established pattern. But wouldn’t they ask men to put a price on the emperor’s head (motivating someone to kill him), rather than beg a ransom for it? A ransom buys back something that is lost or captured or stolen, but the emperor still has his head. Of whom would the men beg the ransom? How would the ransom achieve what the prophet wants, which is apparently to stop imperious murder? Reply Sterling December 18, 2020 Very good point about “ransom”. I’ll have to reconsider that word choice. I suppose “bounty” is what I had meant. What an embarrassing mistake! Thank you very much for your input! Reply Margaret December 19, 2020 You can make corrections and submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org Then, your poem published online will be as you would like it to be. One of our most gifted SCP poets has done this more than once, so there is precedent. Mike Bryant December 19, 2020 Or, Margaret, if Sterling would like a few simple changes made, he can request the changes here in a comment, and I will take care of it. Joseph S. Salemi December 18, 2020 There’s an error in the penultimate line. You can use the word /Until/, or the word /Till/, which are basically synonymous. But /’Til/ is not an acceptable contraction. It is awkward, as well as ugly on the page. Reply C.B. Anderson December 19, 2020 This point, Joseph, has been brought up many times in the comment threads here at SCP, but, alas, this illegitimate practice will probably continue ’til hell freezes over. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.