On Popular Demand – When Poetry Meets Myth [2]

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“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and ahead with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
— Plato, The Symposium

“What they teach you as history is mythology, and true mythology is far from fantasy – every kind reveals true fragments of our real history. A bulk of our real history can be found in Egyptian and Greek mythology. Yes, myths reveal to us worlds of other dimensions that make up our true reality. History books teach us that the minds of the past operated on the same frequency, dimension, or level of consciousness as we do now. Not true at all.”
― Suzy Kassem

“The spacious imagination, the majestic sweep of thought, and the almost reckless spirit of exploration with which, urged by the compelling thirst for truth, the Upanishad teachers and pupils dig into the “open secret” of the universe, make this most ancient of the world’s holy books still the most modern and most satisfying.”
― Jawaharlal Nehru

“Myths and science fulfill a similar function: they both provide human beings with a representation of the world and of the forces that are supposed to govern it. They both fix the limits of what is considered as possible.”
— Francois Jacob

Hello and welcome to our monthly segment “On Popular Demand.” As you know this segment features the topic which becomes popular among the writers. A round of applause for everyone who voted especially Rose Ketring and Magaly Guerrero for their utmost aid and enthusiasm. I am pleased to announce that the topic which received the highest amount of votes this week was “Myth.” When I first thought about myth I was instantly drawn towards Greek mythology ― a body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. Then after a brief but wonderful conversation with Sumana Roy it occurred to me that it would be quite exciting to explore Hindu mythology as well! So tonight, the prompt is wide open. Write a poem or prose piece revolving around Myth. Previously written work is more than welcome. For further inspiration please refer to these two wonderful poems below:

PROMETHEUS

by Lord Byron

Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity’s recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.

Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refus’d thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine—and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease him tell;
And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
And in his Soul a vain repentance,
And evil dread so ill dissembled,
That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself—and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry
Its own concenter’d recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.

Poseidon’s Law

by Rudyard Kipling

When the robust and Brass-bound Man commissioned first for sea
His fragile raft, Poseidon laughed, and “Mariner,” said he,
“Behold, a Law immutable I lay on thee and thine,
That never shall ye act or tell a falsehood at my shrine.

“Let Zeus adjudge your landward kin whose votive meal and sale
At easy-cheated altars win oblivion for the fault,
But you the unhoodwinked wave shall test–the immediate gulf condemn–
Except ye owe the Fates a jest, be slow to jest with them.

Ye shall not clear by Greekly speech, nor cozen from your path
The twinkling shoal, the leeward beach, or Hadria’s white-lipped wrath;
Nor tempt with painted cloth for wood my fraud-avenging hosts;
Nor make at all, or all make good, your bulwarks and your boasts.

Now and henceforward serve unshod, through wet and wakeful shifts,
A present and oppressive God, but take, to aid, my gifts–
The wide and windward-opening eye, the large and lavish hand,
The soul that cannot tell a lie–except upon the land!”

In dromond and in catafract–wet, wakeful, windward-eyed–
He kept Poseidon’s Law intact (his ship and freight beside),
But, once discharged the dromond’s hold, the bireme beached once more,
Splendaciously mendacious rolled the Brass-bound Man ashore….

The thranite now and thalamite are pressures low and high,
And where three hundred blades bit white the twin-propellers ply.
The God that hailed, the keel that sailed are changed beyond recall,
But the robust and Brass-bound Man he is not changed at all!

From Punt returned, from Phormio’s Fleet, from Javan and Gadire,
He strongly occupies the seat about the tavern fire,
And, moist with much Falernian or smoked Massilian juice,
Revenges there the Brass-bound Man his long-enforced truce!

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

18 thoughts on “On Popular Demand – When Poetry Meets Myth [2]

  1. Em says:

    This was so much fun, Sanaa! I’m so glad I saw the link on Magaly’s site. I missed your link pop up in my feed, but I caught hers. Tell me when your prompts are, and I’ll commit the day(s) to memory.

    • Sanaa says:

      Hello Em,

      Thank you so much, so glad you liked it 🙂
      Highly appreciated, lots of love 😀
      xoxo

      PS: Prompts held on Fridays 🙂

    • Sanaa says:

      Hello Jae Rose,

      Thank you so much, so glad you liked it 🙂
      Highly appreciated, lots of love 😀
      xoxo

      PS: Will look forward to it 😉

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