Poetry at the Post-Budapest: Meditations on Marcus Aurelius

“Marcus Aurelius Rose”
BY LISA JARNOT

From the five good emperors
I have learned that there were five good emperors,

A trip to Aquincum, the ruins of an ancient city in Budapest, can lead one to other places. For me, the road circled back Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor who perhaps wrote a part of his book Meditations at Aquincum

“Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together: your own existence and the things that happen to you.” (V. 8, trans. Gregory Hays)

“Soon you’ll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial” (V. 33, trans. Gregory Hays)

Remnants of antiquity remind me of the brevity of life. Breathe it in …hold it. And, then read this lovely poem by Lisa Jarnot.

From the window blinds, from the sun decayed,
from the heart, a brimming record braised and turned
.

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