Estrangement in Athens

By Brian Culhane b. 1954 Brian Culhane
Mount Olympus held nothing for them.
No occasion of theirs could provoke
Magniloquent debate. Nor act require
That attic of gods to come swooping
Onto the field, swaying the battle.
Only the great booming of the ferry
As it shouldered alongside the pier;
Only the waitress counting their
Saucers: it was this April morning
That swung them by their heels.
What was missing was the impersonal,
The fated, a visionary marble address,
The goddess skimming over blue water
To whisper good news, or some stud,
Swan, or bull brimming with light.
Not a wingéd foot. Only Love,
Recently decamped, hovered above
The table, ready to be splendid.
But their ten years’ war had ended.

“Estrangement in Athens” by Brian Culhane. Copyright 2008 by Brian Culhane. Reprinted from The King’s Question with permission from Graywolf Press.

Source: The King�s Question (Graywolf Press, 2008)

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Poet Brian Culhane b. 1954

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects History & Politics, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore

 Brian  Culhane


In 2007 Brian Culhane was the recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award, a prize for a first collection by a poet over the age of 50. Of the book, The King’s Question (2008), A.E. Stallings wrote that Culhane “pays his readers that high and rare compliment of assuming them to be intelligent, grown-up, well-versed, lettered and humane.”
Culhane’s poems have appeared in a number of journals, . . .

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SUBJECT History & Politics, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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