Ares – poem

Ares was the god of war, of violence. It was said that with his sister Eris he liked always provoking new conflicts between mortals in order that they be settled with the blood of tremendous slaughter and brutal looting. No one, mortals or immortals, including his parents Zeus and Hera, loved him and all were wary of him.
The marble in the Ludovisi collection was defined by Winckelmann as ‘the finest Mars of antiquity’. Found in the 1620s, it was restored by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with inten-tionally recognizable additions, such as the nose, the right foot and the hilt of the sword. The god is portrayed at rest, seated naked on a rock. A youthful Eros plays at his feet, re-ferring to the god’s love of Aphrodite. Some scholars have established a link between the Ludovisi Ares and the statue of ‘Seated Mars’ described by Pliny as a work by Skopas (minor). The statue, according to the Roman writer, was in the temple of Mars in the Circo Flaminio in a group that also included Eros and Aphrodite. In any case different influences can be recognized in the sculpture: from the Phydian posture to the pathetic facial expression typical of Skopas of Paros through to the proportions of the body refer-ring to Lysippos.
My poem was inspired by the clear contrast between the calm of the pose and the cruel work performed by the god on earth.

No I haven’t forgotten you!
I’m ready to die.

I advance without noise.
I appeal with a heavy step

to better sniff out fate.
I hasten it and taste its flavor

I know how to concentrate on the pain.
My body burns my bones

ruins corpse during the night.
It will expire, it will be buried

to allow weeping
then germination.

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That which I touch I tear,
I defile, I wreck every road;

I create conflict resentment
to be settled with the sword.

The earth is black and attracts me.
I need no encouragement.

I descend quickly to wound,
never warning before striking.

Death gladdens me
when it is full of pain

and blood with its catastrophe,
its glory and splendor.