Clymenenic Sacrifices


They hide their meaning with their words:
Achieve academic success,
Attain professional acclaim,
Make a difference to the world.

But when you learn for learning’s sake,
Work at a profession in quiet dignity,
Or make a difference “only” to your family and friends,
You clearly disappoint them.

They will not say it,
But fame is what they seek:
It is all they really want or value,
And cannot understand anyone who does not.

And we see it daily:
Sacrifices to Clymene on television;
Children sacrificed to Clymene in vicarious hope;
Souls sacrificed to Clymene where people work or learn.

Fame constantly needs a sacrifice,
And we constantly oblige:
Women and girls, boys and men,
So many die for her — willingly.

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