Having wandered through my share of vast, eerily deserted archaeological sites, I was pulled in by the first line of Ernest Hilbert’s poem, “Dusk in the Ruins”: “I arrive, one more uninvited guest.” With this unsentimental tone established, the speaker explores the necropolis of Vulci, an Etruscan city now down to shards of buildings and millennia-old war stories. This is a rhymed sonnet about an ancient place, yet reads as anything but musty. The poem focuses like a camera lens on Vulci’s visible and unseen history, sharply framing both the dead and the living of the place:
“…A single white horse
grazes down below, slowly consumed
by shadow that pours into the valley…”
Read the whole poem on Verse Daily.
Photo Credit: Robin Iversen Rönnlund (Wikimedia Commons)