Monday, July 7, 2008

The Calendar


The ancient Egyptians
Were having conniptions
Because of the floods of the Nile.
They had no way to know
When it might overflow
(Which it does every once in a while.)
When the flooding did stop
They would plant every crop
In the hopes there would be time to reap.
For they harvested manually,
Knowing that annually
Crops could get lost in the deep.
They found it mysterious
The star we call Sirius
Signaled the start of the flood,
For it rose every year
At a time pretty near
To when they all got covered with mud.

Then they studied the moon
And observed pretty soon
It had cycles of waxing and waning.
These took near thirty days
Which a year, cut twelve ways,
Roughly equaled, with five days remaining.
And that was the reason
Predicting each season.
Was one of the calendar’s strengths,
Though it since has been changed
And the days re-arranged
Into twelve months of unequal lengths.
For a while it was Julian.
Gregorian’s truly an
Asset for scheduled living.
In four thousand B.C.
Nobody could foresee
What a valuable gift they were giving.

1 comment:

Dorothy Massey said...

This is great Peter. I wish I'd come across this poem earlier when my son was studying the ancient Egyptians. He had homework on the floods. Dorothy Massey