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The Gift of Hera

for Dick Davis

 

In an unbroken line

the heirs of Herakles

harvest their golden trees

and splice the fruitful vine.

 

Today I play my part.

Paring an apple graft,

I hone an ancient craft

half science and half art.

 

With an impartial knife

I notch and interlock

host wood and scion stock,

marrying them for life

 

just as I marry rhymes

and rhythms into lines,

borrowing my designs

from other minds and times.

 

But where would Virgil be

had Homer not retold

a tale already old

learned at his father's knee?

 

Timothy Murphy

 

 

From The Deed of Gift, Story Line
Press, 1998.  Reprinted by
permission of the author and
Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon.


Background by
Karen S. Nicholas


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