A Cabinet of Ancient Figurines in the Ashmolean Museum
Who, with an eye for similarity,
artistically displayed these side-by-side?
from form, as if their meaning were alike.
What of their ancient makers long since past,
shaping clay, stone and bone into themselves?
‘With startling skill’! We sigh before the glass
a moment, quickly glancing at the shelves.
From deserts dry to clammy caves are found
curious creatures, images of us,
yet not us, but we take them for our own
and call them ‘art,’ to be admired thus.
The figurines stand silently and watch
the visitors pass by them in a rush.