Sunday, April 14, 2013

Myth of the Gods - 14/30

It's Sunday! By now you are all probably doing things you'll regret doing tomorrow morning when it feels like you're giving birth to a Grecian deity (I mean you'll have a your mythology...). Shame. On. You.

But while you're here, how about some poetry? Did I mention Greece up there? And deities? Well that segues into today's poem perrrrrrfectly.

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was to write a persona poem.
And now, our prompt. Today’s should be fun — I hope. I challenge you to write a persona poem — that is, a poem in the voice of a particular person who isn’t you. But I’d like you to choose a very particular kind of person. How about a poem in the voice of a superhero (or a supervillain)? Comic book characters are very much like mythological characters — they tend to embody big-picture values or personality traits. Good or bad. Loyal or disloyal! (Heck — some comic book characters are mythologial characters — think of Thor). And like mythological characters, superheroes and supervillains let us tap into deep-seated cultural tropes. So go for it. Whether you identify with Batman, Robin or – gulp – the Joker, let’s hear your poems in another voice. Happy writing!
Persona poems are always a lot of fun, but they have to be written in the right way. In my experience, the persona poem will fall flat unless the poem transcends the persona and says something more. So, to that end, today's poem. I'm not going to tell you who the character is, but the game-savvy among you should be able to recognize it. Who do you think it is speaking here? Tell me in the comments!

Myth of the Gods

The things we shape and
christen 'gods' can be killed like
the men who made them.

This Olympic myth,
temple-extolled deities...
bleeding at my hands.

What god can be robbed
of its godhood? Who made Zeus
if not zealous man?-

hands too readily
capable of purging that
mountain of its host.

I am the axehead
at the root of Olympus,
striking for revenge,

lopping its branches
stroke by stroke, ichor-whetted
wedge shaking their thrones.

These gods die like men.
There is nothing divine in
the way they perish,

in the way their will
shatters without enforcement,
in their impotence.

My flame-fanged fury
wrings unwilling vermilion
from Olympus' gods...

Gods? Show me someone
who cannot succumb to death,
who rends death in twain

when it endeavors
to swallow their spirit whole...
who man cannot kill.

Show me the warrior
on whom Hades holds no claim,
and I'll show you God.


  1. Now THAT is poetry. Especially loved your use of "unwilling vermillion..." Very vivid.