Polly

Writings and Witterings

Ludi Cereales – The Preparation

2 Comments

Plays
Were
Performed
In Republican Rome
At ludi.
That is
– Ludi –
Celebratory
Festivals
Or
Games.

Ludi glorified Gods;
Jupiter [for example]
or wealthy citizens,
sometimes
politicians
who wanted to
proclaim
special occasions:
funerals
or triumphal entries
[don’t ask!]

The Gladiators came out,
animals were baited,
acrobats did their thing,
in an eclipse of literary drama.
Fescennine verses
were staged
– Fescennina carmina –
Italian poetry,
the harbinger of
satire and
comic drama [oh yeah!]

Ludi Cereales,
a fertility celebration
of Spring,
honours Ceres,
goddess of the fields,
goddess of grains.
for eight days only!
Symbolic ritual demands
the release of foxes
with flaming brands
on tails [poor things].

We’ll have
no cruelty
to foxes
here.
But offer
milk,
honey,
wine,
after you’ve taken them
thrice
around the field.

Polly Robinson © 2012

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2 thoughts on “Ludi Cereales – The Preparation

  1. Neat poem about an interesting era.
    Even the preparation sounds fun!

    • It happened last night – will post about it later – we had to bring it indoors rather than being around a campfire as originally planned. The weather was so poor all day yesterday we had rain, hail, thunder, beautiful blue skies, talk about unpredictable! And when the sound equipment is borrowed …

      Ludi Cereales was great fun, and we raised nearly £200 for the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign. :)

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