“This is somebody who should be a household name, yet somehow she’s been relegated to the footnotes of history.”
–Bethany Hughes, Historian
In Alexandria’s ancient streets
the fierceness of Christian mobs—
hardly different than the claws
and fangs of lions—tore into her
flesh. With shards of ceramic roof-tiles,
sharp as oyster shells baked hard
in the Afro-Mediterranean
sun, they flayed Hypatia alive
slicing her skin from her body.
The two separated forever
as that enlightened female’s mind
from this earth. No astrolabe, no
computer, no wise astrologist
divining, can calculate the day
men’s hearts will loosen their fearful
grip on potshards of broken logic,
nor is there any hydrometer
built to measure the density
of ignorance—like screams
unheeded and forgotten—
or the thickness of blood even
under the shadow of the great
library at Serapeum.
You lured me in with the photo, but the verse is one of the better poems I’ve read on WP in a while–and I read dozens every day. Nicely done.
Thanks JunkChuck. You can access a related poem “Skin I” (published Contrary Magazine 2013) from my website: https://sites.google.com/site/vincentjosephnoto/
A truly lovely piece on a sadly forgotten woman in history.
Thanks Cleindori! If you’d like to read the companion / related piece “Skin I” (published by Contrary Magazine, 2013) you can find the link at my website: https://sites.google.com/site/vincentjosephnoto/ .