Pericles Built the Parthenon

Pericles built the Parthenon!
what a man he must have been!


first to work out the design
calculate the balance of force and mass
a task for no brain of common size
(no wonder he always wore that helmet)
then to quarry the marble piece by piece
and drag each down by his own single strength
hauling it all those miles from far Pentelikos
with sweaty grunts to the gates of Athens
and through its cobbled unforgiving streets
and then uphill once more, still unaided
heaving and straining with undaunted purpose
up, up
along the Sacred Way onto the high Acropolis
then back to the quarry, with blistered feet
to cut and shape and drag more stone
down and across and up and up
over and over with endless burdens
like Sisyphus toiling in Tartarus
then piling block upon giant block
a lone figure against the cerulean sky
making the graceful temple rise
lintel upon post, roof upon column
to say nothing of the ornamentation
the sculptures and the intricate friezes
that even in a distant isle today
bear witness to the master’s gifted hand

know well that men were giants in those days
when Pericles built the Parthenon



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