The poem feels like it wants to become an essay, and a very interesting one, about what ancient artefacts can tell us about the society that made them and what art meant to them. I can sort of see you behind a lectern with powerpoint slides on the screen. You think out loud and don’t disguise your presence and agency. The poem is well made and satisfying.
The key argument is “But the tools we fashion and the structures we create speak in our language.” The things we make are silent but because they were made by human beings they are in principle understandable. They have a story to tell us about ourselves. Joseph Schumpeter (long forgotten economist of the 1930s) said “The evolution of the capitalist style of life could be easily -- and perhaps most tellingly -- described in terms of the genesis of the modern Lounge Suit.” ie We can work back from our artefacts to our culture. The things we make embody the way we are.
The final line with its “stride forever taken” is beautiful.