A Gold Ring from the Tomb of Isopata, Crete, ca. 1500 BC


Three women dance, full skirted on the green,
Their torsos bare and, as they turn and whirl
Out of the air descends the final girl.
She is dressed like them and levitates between.
How did it happen and what did it mean?
A goddess invoked by that compulsive dance,
Arms raised in ecstasy of her advance?
Three thousand years and more record that scene,

But leave its import now in mystery.
Perfect in what it is, not what it tells,
The grace of movement and the jutting breasts.
These bodies leaning back put off the spells
Of meaning and become themselves, set free,
And what remains in its own beauty rests.

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