Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHAM TOWERS AT DA NANG, by KAREN SWENSON



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THE CHAM TOWERS AT DA NANG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: God-faces that once glared at the sun
Last Line: Their great-grandparents could not recollect.
Subject(s): Colonialism; Sculpture & Sculptors; Vietnam


God-faces that once glared at the sun
have weathered to soft ovals and
eroded rounds, which seem to wait for
a chisel to draw features from stone,
articulate as lovers' lips
murmuring in this tower's shade.

Perhaps the lips the couples use
to kiss are the residual
estate of ancient sculptors worn down
by intermarriage with invaders
until the lineaments of their
inheritance are now long lost.

The farmers burn paper money,
offerings of make-believe rent,
to pay off spirits of landowners
their great-grandparents could not recollect.





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