Jun. 7th, 2016

castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
A poem I wrote for an online course a couple of years ago for the prompt "Be creative around the concept of ‘archaeology’s dirty little secrets’." Copying here to archive it somewhere besides my hard drive, since the course materials are being removed from the site.

Its Dirtiest Secret: A Sonnet

Not "Indy's whip is fiction"; not "it takes
A lot of patience", neither "what survives
Depends on ground conditions, weather, time,
Formation processes beyond control"
nor "look what can be learned from these stone flakes--
this darker stain--these sherds, of people's lives."
Not even "stealing artifacts is crime
Against a nation and a people's soul."

But deeper still: the strata show the fate
That comes to all. The artifacts we prize
Will crumble, fall unknown, be broken, cast
Aside; our bodies rot, our bones relate
Unfinished tales, perhaps, to future eyes.
This is the secret: we will *be* the past.

---

(written for the Coursera course "Archaelogy's Dirty Little Secrets", taught by Sue Alcock of Brown University; if it's ever offered again, I recommend it)

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