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Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek.

 Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek
    We seem to have asked them
   nothing.
   Elephants once shared our lives,
   fought our enemies, battered down
   city gates, carried great burdens,
   headed the tiger hunts,
   which protected us both,
   howdahs teeming with spearmen and archers.
   And in the reign of Titus Augustus
   elephants were known to have mastered
   Latin, and the brightest ones
   Greek.
   Yet we asked them nothing,
   heeded nothing.
   No scholar recorded, that we know,
   their preferences in reading. Did elephants favor
   Aristotle over Cicero? The Stoics, or,
   with their great appetites, the Epicureans?
   Did they care for drama, master Euclid,
   penetrate the numbers of Pythagoras?
   Clearly we did not pay attention, did not
   record the year in which the elephants
   were no longer writing Greek, or even note it.
   Much has opened to us since the plow first broke
   furrows back and forth across the ground
   but other doors have closed to us.
   Delphi is still, the gods
   no longer speak to us,
   and the elephants have, inexplicably,
   put their pens aside. 
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Author:Esaias, Timons
Publication:Atlanta Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2016
Words:201
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