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Eurydice’s Ode For Orpheus

January 28, 2010

Always blaming me for your
looking back –
does your sternocleidomastoid
bow to my bidding?
No, you are your own musculature’s master,
if nothing else.
Did you not know the rules
before you began?
A simple task,
your own cunning –
still too much for
mere mortal man –
and I’m the weaker sex?

I?!

I am here vulnerable
only to your folly –
only a few steps more without
needing my approval
and you could have toyed forevermore
with my existance,
had me – helpless female –
at your pleasure.

Maybe one day here in darkness
Hades will ask me what I miss from the world of
light

– I will think of you,
sunlight dancing off your hair as you
turn back towards me
and answer truthfully –

nothing.

Written 20 Jan 09 – ER

Orpheus and Euridice by George Frederick Watts RA (1817-1904). Oil on canvas: 22 x 30 inches; 56 x 76 cm.

[This poem will make a whole lot more sense if you know the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a story rarely told from Eurydice’s perspective.  You can read the myth like a love story.  Or you can start to ask questions.  Who says Eurydice even wanted to go back with Orpheus?!  Typical male, he just assumes that she does.  At least, this is the feminist perspective from which the poem is written – whether I agree with it or not.  I was influenced in writing this poem by poems such as Eurydice by HD and the fabulous fabulous work of Margaret Atwood (“You could not believe I was more than your echo” – perfect), among other fabulous female poets who dare to put a new slant on old stories.]

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