Phraskleia in Footnotes, or Twelve Notes on Death and Grammar

The Phrasikleia Kore is one of the most famous funerary monuments of archaic Greek art, a sixth century BCE statue by Aristion of Paros that marked the grave of a young aristocratic woman in Attica. The inscription on the base of this statue is written in the first person, inviting many scholarly analyses of how the viewer might carry on the life of the deceased Phrasikleia by speaking her into being. My Phrasikleia in Footnotes draws inspiration from contemporary poets engaging with the classical tradition to reject scholarly objectivity in favor of emotionally intimate enmeshment. Phrasikleia the girl, “Phrasikleia” the relationship negotiated by the funerary monument, and the voice of the scholar are drawn into an inextricable relationship with one another. Footnotes, typically a means of defining scholarly relation as citation, are reconfigured as a means of gently relinquishing the scholar’s position as arbiter of meaning in favor of the chthonic, the buried, the decaying of subjecthood.

View poem in PDF (opens in new window)


Marquardt imageSavannah Marquardt is a first year in the History of Art department. She enjoys ancient Greek animal friezes, borrowing books, and dressing for the weather you want rather than the weather you have.