Pages

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Refugee started it with his poem

Medusa’s Gift

They whisper, those snakes, give her
strength, tell her deep-rooted fables
as she sleeps. Athena’s gift: sharp burr
to rasp her brittle pride down enables
our new Gorgon to hear older stories,
older than waves or men weeping.

Snake-wreathed Athena caught her sleeping
in a briny pool, altars like orreries
set around her. “Child, your sable
hair becomes you, but not your slur.”
Medusa blinks awake at the touch, unable
to speak. A dark light, an invert blur –

and it’s done. The Goddess smiles,
the Gorgon shrieks, the snakes writhe
at the disturbance they crown. Piles
of black snakes tangle and scythe
the air as Medusa screams for Poseidon,
for her father, for any power to undo

the nightmare she’s become. But few
have courage to draw near, all brawn
unmanned and struck to stone. The tithe
steep, girl-now-monster’s former wiles
no longer a gift, she hides. Lithe
enough to wriggle out, away, old guiles

lost, new found in snake-tongued truth.


****
If you want to see what started this, go here.

7 comments:

Refugee from Reason said...

This is quite lovely, well-formed, almost uniquely so. I especially liked "...altars like orreries
set around her."

And thank you letting me be at least a modest inspiration.

On the other hand, I'm a more than a bit jealous, as I'm still struggling with this damned fork.

Mise said...

Brilliant, Lori! :-D

Laura said...

Anybody who rhymes poseidon and brawn is brilliant, indeed. And orreries and stories----wow! You ARE brilliant. Amazing poem---I didn't take the time to work out the exact rhyme scheme---does this form have a name?

Laura said...

Anybody who rhymes poseidon and brawn is brilliant, indeed. And orreries and stories----wow! You ARE brilliant. Amazing poem---I didn't take the time to work out the exact rhyme scheme---does this form have a name?

Lori Witzel said...

Oops -- Laura, sorry I double-comment-posted you!

Since Refugee's post was all about rhyme (and since I am end-line rhyme-shy) I just made up a form to suit the content. Too scared of villanelles and sonnets to try. Wanted something with a reflection-structure in it.

Maybe it is a real form, but haven't researched it yet. Perhaps one of my writer-commentators would know?

:-)

Refugee from Reason said...

There is form there and according to Moshev's Rules of Poetry, Jogging and Perrier Water with Lime, there's nothing that prevents one from developing one's own form.

With regard to end-word rhyming, in my case it's probably the result of some errant brain synapse that could have just as well led me to put on a dress and rob convenience stores as write a poem.

As to villanelles and sonnets, if the student who is sketching a fork may counsel the teacher who recommended the fork, try quatrains.

I've done a number of villanelles and sonnets (will post examples later), but the most challenging of all is a sestina.

Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I might have been regarding form in a post. I might have suggested that much of what one sees in what passes for poetry around the world of blogs is lacks thought as well and reflects of a diary entry than anything else.

MB said...

Lori, this is marvelous. I love the internal rhymes you made as much as the end rhymes. A form is a tool, nothing more, and diverts the poem when it becomes the endpoint. That said, it can be a vehicle for beautiful elegance. I admire what you've found through this one very much.