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May 2020
There is always an unending stream of visitors to Italy's Pompeii,
A standout aspect that can't be missed by the tourist's discerning eye,
You brace yourself for an exciting, informative tour of the site,
Whilst being aware of it's agonizing history, that is so contrite

It is like an open book on Roman civilization in medieval times,
With glimpses of their lifestyle still apparent thro' passage of time,
Tragic that the glorious town was buried by Vesuvius' volcanic ash,
Whose unique non-hard nature left the town almost intact

The sprawling impressive Amphitheater construction is nothing short of grandiose,
Aesthetically and geometrically designed, with considerable poise,
Hosting of circus shows and gladiatorial games was apparently a regular feature,
Adding to entertainment and joy for the town's populace in no small measure

That the Romans had vivid imagination in planning and construction is never a moot point,
The Amphitheater having a velarium provision is proof enough to drive home the point,
Staggered cascaded seating systems showed social classes prevalence even during those times,
While the accessways to the seats are strikingly similar to those in stadia in present times

Paved with marble blocks, the majestic Forum stands out as an architectural marvel,
Once a bustling main square with a multitude of activities for our minds to unravel,
Surrounding buildings, porticos, temples and basilicas indicate an epicenter of activity,
It is as if the pompous thoughtful design of the layout was a lesson to educate posterity

As the town's highest God, the Temple of Jupiter is a towering structure on the north side,
Flanked by the Macellum - the town's large provision market on the east side,
Justice administration and business negotiations took place in the Basilica on the south side,
The magnificent Temple of Venus made of concrete and lava stones, housed the west side

The Temple of Apollo remnants stand out in magnificent splendor,
Reportedly it was considered the town's most religious epicenter,
The fusion of Greek and Italian architecture is a virtual standout,
It's white marble altar with Latin inscriptions are a lot to rave about

The Forum Baths behind the Temple of Jupiter depict meticulous attention to designing,
Luxurious options of cold, hot and tepid baths provide glimpses of detailed planning,
Hot water circulation through imbedded pipes in wall cavities was truly ingenious,
That the Baths also incorporated a toilet, pool and gymnasium; was pure genius

Remnants of houses ranging from modest dwellings to magnificent villas were truly insightful,
The social class divide of houses of simple workmen from the elegant noble was clearly meaningful,
Varied improvements in style and layout as the middle-class evolved, was very discernible,
Thro' additional rooms replete with embellishments and decorations, making it so perceptible

Pompeii's rich pictorial heritage is a classic example of the famous Roman art,
Full of color and life, the paintings were chosen to make the rooms appear less dark,
Incremental stylistic shifts in the paintings ranged from the realistic to inspirational,
Reflecting the prosperity and tastes during those times, in no way considered fictional

Stunning mosaic ornamentation in buildings depicted battle scenes, animals and human faces,
Rich in imagination with a flair for detail in houses and even laundries, to state a few places.
Adorning floors and walls, the mosaics display considerable clarity and a sense of purpose,
As if the artists sought to portray battles and philosophical thoughts with pointed focus

Inscriptions and graffiti that abound the walls of houses are worthy of note,
Seemingly indicating electoral propaganda messages urging citizens to vote,
Graffiti correlated with scrawled caricatures, messages and jokes on disparate subjects,
That also included calculations on buying and selling of merchandise for many projects

A visit to the ruins makes one experience a kaleidoscope of emotions,
You leave with an inescapable mix of feelings of fascination and adoration,
Visitors have the opportunity to see how a medieval town was built and dwelt,
An experience that goes beyond the whole nine yards, to know how it is felt
Written by
SUNDARAM SARMA  67/M/CANADA
(67/M/CANADA)   
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