Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

On offerings to the gods

Homer, there’s something here that puzzles me.

Libation pouring, I can understand—

Gaea would soak it up when poured on land,

Poseidon take it when it’s poured at sea.

But sacrifice is something else again

You say they choose the finest of the herd

and how it’s killed, prepared, and cooked and served.

What happens afterwards you don’t explain.

Perhaps they eat it with the other meat.

But could they eat an offering to the gods?

After the feast, perhaps they throw it out.

Could they just dump an offering to the gods,

or leave it where it is to rot away?

Imagine what the vengeful gods would say.