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Poetry and Medicine
October 9, 2002

Plastic Surgeon/Greek Amphora

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(14):1693. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1693

A museum is always a proper place
to ponder on eternity: this jar
held the future of someone's face
in a long lost battle with gravity.
Such ancient figures dare to say
that the living, who are also clay,
will bide in time our little while
and then assume their Attic smile.
Over earthen jars we pour like elders
who have come before to ponder
vain hope of art's meaning more. But
it's just a pitcher, black and red, adorned
with pictures of the dead who sought
some unguent divine to ward off time.