Monday, August 28, 2017


Armored Charioteer
Photo © 2017 Jennifer Wagner

Holding the reins
of dynasty,
the red spread,

until conquered,
in mercurial endings—

and forgotten

with the bones
of their makers, their lips
like tombs.

© 2017 Jennifer Wagner


I recently toured the fascinating Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China display in Seattle.  Thousands of the life-size clay soldiers, each with unique characteristics, were buried with the Emperor.  They were discovered in 1974 and are an epic archaeological find. 

Emperor Qin consumed mercury in hopes of preventing his death which is believed to have hastened it.  He also had rivers of flowing mercury installed in his tomb.  Laborers who helped build Qin’s tomb complex were buried in it for secrecy regarding its location and treasures within.

High-Ranking General
Photo © 2017 Jennifer Wagner

Kneeling and Standing Archers
Photo © 2017 Jennifer Wagner



Anonymous said...

You wrote such an incredible poem. Describing every detail with good imagery.

As I read reminded me of the movie: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. The Emperor Qin's Tomb is fascinating.

ayala said...

Indeed an epic archeological find. I was fortunate to see a display of it as well.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Fascinating - thanks for the narration. Re-reading it, it is perfect.

Blogoratti said...

That is so intriguing and what an adventure it must have been to visit. Great poem and form. Greetings.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring words of the inspired

Jody Lee Collins said...

My goodness, Jennifer, you can make anything into a (thought-provoking, inspired) poem! well done.

Wendy Bourke said...

A fascinating and edifying post. I enjoyed the photographs and note - and the poem is perfect.

Fireblossom said...

Glad I was not a Chinese laborer in a previous life!

janetld said...

Before I'd seen the previous comments here, I, too, thought of the word "fascinating" to describe this story you tell so well.

grapeling said...

my great grandfather, CT Wang, was a senior minister in Chiang Kai-Shek's government, beginning in 1911, until the Reds won, and he took to exile in Hong Kong. And now... something spreads, like mercury, throughout our world ~