Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Carpe Diem #330, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on a journey along the Seven Ancient World Wonders, but I think those world wonders are very difficult to write haiku about. Maybe that's a misunderstanding, but I can see that in your up-linked posts. The World-wonder prompts have less reactions as the other prompts we had.
I know that it isn't easy to write haiku on these World-Wonder prompts, so don't be afraid to try to write haiku about them. Of course there are no obligations that you have to post, but I try to understand what the reason is that these prompts aren't that easy.

Notwithstanding ... today we are visiting the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, it was built in honor of godess Artemis.

Ruins of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Dutch wordpress log)

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus served as well as a market place and a cult place for the goddess Artemis which was the divinity of the fertility, the Earth, the moon and the animals. She was very worshipped.
It was located in Turkey, in the ancient city of Ephesus which is nowadays called Selcuk, and which is located 50 km in the South of Izmir. This temple was set up from the middle of the eighth century to the middle of the third century BC It has the peculiarity to have been demolished seven times in ten centuries.
The first temple was primitive (8 columns on 4), however king Croesus ordered to destroy it in order to raise a new much larger one. With a base of 155 m (508 feet) on 60 (197 feet), the new sanctuary possessed 127 columns with sculptured reliefs. But it was destroyed again to leave place to the new temple drawn by the Greek architect called Chersiphron, even more gigantic than the precedent: its Ionic columns, adorned with gold, raised at more than 18 m height and contained scenes with mythological symbols sculptured by the lost famous sculptors and the Greek architects such as Scopas, Praxiteles, Phidias and Polyclitus. This last sanctuary sheltered the statues of Artemis and Zeus where these gods were worshipped by the Greek population. Nowadays, we can find some reproductions of the statue of this goddess in the museums of Naples, the Vatican and the Louvre.
Finally, during the night of 21st of July in 356 BC, a person called Herostratus set on fire the temple so that its name is immortalized. It is done. Stones were doubtless reused to build churches.

Artemis (or Diana) statue
Antipater of Sidon (a 2nd century BC Greek poet), who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders, describes the finished temple:

“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand".

nature's beauty
Artemis protects it with passion -
a hunted deer

Well ... I hope you did like this episode and I hope that it inspires you to write haiku. This prompt will stay on 'til October 25th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, later on today around 7.00 PM (CET).
!! The Temple of Artemis is open for your submissions at 7.00 PM (CET) !!


  1. You are right, Kristjaan: These prompts are very difficult!

  2. The mythology behind works so well... but they are difficult.. But we need to be challenged... and your take on the Artemis myth is just awesome.

  3. Tomorrow I will tell more people about Carpe Diem, the seven wonders are so interesting, and different. People should not give up so easily or only write about one thing. Your write up, for example, is fabulous. At least they can read that!

  4. The challenge is NOT to write about the first thing that comes to your mind. It's often the worst angle to write about. My two cents is to free associate and figure out a way to write a haiku about something just as it is.

    Since the prompts are man made temples and ruins and involve vainglorious stories about gods, goddesses, fantasy, religion etc etc, it doesn't lend itself to the nature of haiku which is to write about a real subject just as it is with a gentle "aha" moment contained therein. And it is written in the present tense.

    So I don't write about Ancient Egyptians, and Greeky gods and goddesses and magical powers. I write about the place just as it is and try to find some nice twist to it so it's not just a boring "snapshot" poem.

    No, not easy, but it's a good exercise in NOT writing about the first thing that comes to mind and NOT embedding fiction into haiku.

    Good luck friends, enjoy the challenge. I sure am. Even when I am grumbling.

  5. Good day dear friends, I try to understand the problem, but in a way I can't find the answer. I agree with Lolly that haiku has a 'aha-erlebnis' in it, but I think (as by the way the classical haiku-poets sometimes did) that haiku may have a science-background ... the classics used also knowledge from their past to write their haiku and that's what I try to do with these world wonder prompts. Trigger your mind to write haiku with knowledge from the past. Maybe ... that's making the world wonder prompts different and difficult. The posts on the world wonders are for your inspiration. That said ... writing haiku is fun and that's the most important thing here at Carpe Diem ... just have fun ... no obligations, feel free ...


  6. although this was tough, at least i gained some ancient history lessons. thanks again, Krisjaan. i like your haiku too.