I am

I am the clay of the Euphrates
molded by Sumerian hands
pressed by a sharpened reed
preserving in cuneiform
the epic Ballad of Gilgamesh.

I am the pith of papyrus
washed in the Nile waters
hammered into a scroll
touched by the black iron ink
of Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Sun,

I am the hide of a horse
cleaned and dried with lye
etched with words of Latin
by Titus Lucretius Carus to wit
Epicureanism, De rerum natura.

I am the goat skin parchment
stretched tight as a drum head
scarred with metaphysical reason
as Cynewulf suffered in hand
The Dream of the Rood.

I am the revolutionary paper
touched by the hands of greatness
written by candle light and quill
setting down the right of freedom
in The Declaration of Independence.

I am the flash of digital images
scripted on a charged screen
preserving the joy of expression
in a collection of files
displayed on a WordPress blog.

I am all these things humans do
from the beginning of recorded time
the art and dance of thought
spoken or written or sung
the fulfillment life’s poetry.

© 2011, Donald Harbour

2 thoughts on “I am

  1. Such a lovely idea to trace the development of the written thought. The next avatar of “you” though, seems to be only 140 characters long!! (I am thinking of tweets here). Enjoyed your poem.


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