During NaPoWriMo there are a plethora of sites & groups publishing writing prompts to help poets overcome the terrifying prospect of the blank screen or page day after day for 30 straight days. I rarely have a problem finding a topic but I usually check out what the prompts are in the groups I’m part of, just to see if there’s anything that interests me.
An Australian-run group called The Dirty Thirty’s chosen topic today was myth. The number 13 is lucky and scary and shrouded in myth. So today, let’s talk myths. In your poem, find creative ways to include the actual story your myth was based on.
This is manna from heaven for me & I immediately thought of one of my go to topics: the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice. I love this topic so much that I have several books devoted to the subject & I’ve written at least a dozen poems around the theme; the best of which I one day hope to publish as a chapbook or suite of poems (as part of a bigger volume) called songs of under earth.
The Death of Orpheus
after many years : wandering : ever-mourning : his lost Eurydice : Orpheus worshipped : only the Apollo-sun
one morning : at the Dionysian oracle : on Mount Pangaion : while greeting dawn’s rosy fingers : with his peerless lyre-playing : as part of his : daily sun god salute : the Maenads : resenting Orpheus’ refusal : to honour : his previous patron : sought to harm him : threw sticks & stones : yet the lilt : of his music : was so sublime : & so strong : the rocks & branches : refused to strike
enraged : they threw themselves : instead : in a furioso frenzy : ripping : rending : wrenching : his mortal body : to shreds : blood lust madness : engulfing them all
when the women : who tore him apart : tried to cleanse : their gore-covered hands : the river sank : below ground
as did : Orpheus’ shade : finally : to be reunited