For the third and concluding poem of the Surface trilogy we travel out from the human mind to its stories, myths and legends.
Whether these derive from good imaginations or something more spiritual I don’t know; as with poetry, many times we don’t know where the ideas come from. Maybe one day we will…
The poem demonstrates how humanity across the world has looked above and below the surface for inspiration for its myths and legends.
The poem starts and ends with Greek examples, and has ones from Indian, Celtic, Sioux and Norse in-between.
The words per line mirror, and are presented below in the way they are structured in the six paragraphs of the poem:
Icarus flew with God on wings and wax
above ancient Greece,
but became intoxicated by the sun,
and expelled from the legendary
just as it was getting to be fun.
Jatayu and Sampaati played with solar winds
as vultures in the skies
of Hindu mythology,
but Jatayu got too high,
and in saving his brother
Sampaati relinquished his right to fly.
Lugh and Bran battled in old Celtic skies
year in ,year out,
over day and night, light and dark,
people on the ground would light a spark
to mark the time when each came back.
On the surface, human imagination travelled high and low
a chief’s son was lost underground while riding
to hunt buffalo that was revered for providing
their food and warmth, magic and reason
this season, next season,
In Sioux mythology a subterranean lesson wasn’t treason.
Odin rode to Helheim for Baldr,
his beloved son of Frigg
lost in the ninth realm
of Norse mythology.
Sleipnir carried the magic muse
but only to a Volva’s dreadful news.
Travelling home from the Trojan war to Ithaca
Odysseus took his men underworld
to the River Acheron in Hades
to meet Tiresias
and receive advice known only to the blissless.
3 thoughts on “Surface Poem Trilogy 3: Myth and Legend”
The Odyssey is one of my all time favourite books. My mother found me a child’s edition from our library when I was about eight, and I have loved the tale ever since (partly why I went on to read Classical Studies … and to marry a Hellenophile archaeologist!). The scope of FM poetry is ever-expanding!