Greek mythology

All posts tagged Greek mythology

MLM No “X” Repost – “Charybdis”

Published May 8, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Charybdis

Trapped in a spiral,
Spinning downwards,
Rushing, gushing,
Drowning.

Boats floating,
Sinking,
Crushing.

Sailors frenzying,
Rowing,
Screaming,
Dying.

Scylla’s laughter,
Scylla’s feast,
Blood everywhere,
Turning the waters red.

It’s very salty,
But salt festooned with copper.
I don’t like it.
Blood doesn’t taste good.

That lying old man,
Quick-tongued,
Like his great-grandfather.
He convinced a lot of people.
Made them think they could get away.

There’s no getting away.
There’s no escape from this doom.
There’s no tree branch above my pool.

Odysseus passed this way but once,
Before his crew marooned him
On that island they thought was deserted.
(If they’d known about Calypso,
They would have stayed,
And forced him to sail on!)

I don’t like that he blames their deaths on me.
If he ever comes this way again,
I’ll eat him.

I don’t like the taste of old man flesh,
But if it’s his,
I’ll enjoy it.

Athene won’t like it,
But I don’t care.

Hermes probably won’t like it, either,
But I still don’t care.

Poseidon will love it.
I’m fine with that.
Maybe he’ll start hanging out here more often.
(Goodness knows, he’s not picky
When it comes to mistresses…
I might not mind
A little light adultery
And giving birth
To the child of a god…)

Scylla thinks she’s all that.
But she’s not as good as me.
She can only kill seven men at a time.
I can kill thousands,
If they sail close enough.

Though I’d rather they didn’t.
I’d rather they just stayed out of our strait.
Wood doesn’t taste too good,
And blood tastes worse.

Drinking half the sea
Is bad enough by itself.
Why do men have to get in the way?

Dying,
Screaming,
Panicking,
Rowing,
Chomped by Scylla,
Amid screams and laughter.

Life should be better than this.


MLM icon init MLM X

MLM No “P” Repost – “The Best of the Achaians”

Published March 13, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

“The Best of the Achaians”

What quality makes a man great?

Strength of arms?
No, not that alone.
Any demi-god has that…
…and look how they turn out!
(Only Mycenae’s founder remained
A good man and true.
The rest died horrible deaths,
And Theseus abducted a child for his new bride!
And he died a horrible death to boot!)

Wisdom beyond measure?
If that was the case,
There would be few great men.
Maybe none at all.

Kindness, and a gentle heart,
Dedication to his friends?
Yes, yes, indeed!
A great man has devotion
And love in his heart,
Ready to lay down his life
To save those he cares for.

In truth, there is but one
Who sailed to Troy
With the strength and heart
To call himself the best.
Though he would never so call himself:
He would award the title
To the one he loves the most,
Friend, comrade, and so much more.

But his kind heart outshines
His selfish, fair-faced friend.
While Achilles sulked,
He shed tears of grief
For the deaths of the Danaan warriors.

His might in battle
Was ne’er so lauded
As that of his fickle friend,
But he killed so many Trojans
In his final stand
That they were maddened for revenge.

His death, too, was greater
Than the humiliation of Achilles.
(An arrow in the ankle?  Laughable!)
For the son of the Nereid,
Leto’s son needed but one mortal’s aid,
A tool to unleash the arrow.
But for he who was truly
The best of the Achaians,
The far-darter required the aid of two mortals,
A coward to stab from behind,
And lamentable Hector
To stab from the front.
Dishonorable though the kill was
— what honor could there be
In killing a naked, unarmed man? —
Hector was filled with hubris
To have brought down such a mighty foe.

The son of Menoitios
By his blameless life
Brought honor to his obscure father,
As his name suggests.
By his death he brought down
Hector, and all dreams of Troy’s survival.

In a golden urn
His bones were sheltered
While the son of Thetis cried and groaned
In an anguish more overwrought
Than any widow on the stage,
Though he knew his own bones
Would soon join with his lost comrade’s,
And they would be united in death,
Forever together.

Where is that urn now?
Is it hidden from view in the ground
Near Hisarlik?
Or was it stolen away,
In the ancient days of antiquity?
Which “tomb” covered those bones
When Alexander and his lover
Made their offerings at two tomb-shrines,
And ran their naked race on the sands?

Where now is the best of the Achaians?
The White Island is deserted,
The shrines of antiquity lost to time.
Who now wails for the hero that was lost?


MLM banner init MLM P


 

(I shall ever remain his fan-girl!)

(But I still suck at endings.  *sigh*)

Originally went up 9/14/15

MLM No “I” Repost – “The Party”

Published January 23, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

“The Party”

The megaron* at Mycenae sets the scene.
Agamemnon offers couches to the guests,
So many couches; no need to share.
But the red-headed son of Peleus objects:
“There’s one place too few!”
Patroclos mutters that he should go,
Of too small note for such great company.
“No way! You can’t leave!”
Patroclos’ dearest comrade demands.
“Normally, the couches are shared,”
Odysseus tells them,
A wry form upon the mouth.
“Then you’ll share my couch,”
Peleus’ son asserts, as he takes Patroclos’ hands.
Reluctant, the young man takes a seat,
Upon the couch of the pretty boy.
The son of Telamon laughs, and takes up a cup.
“Not yet!” Agamemnon remonstrances.
“We must pour for the gods.”
Drops are poured out neat,
And the gods assuaged.
Then the party can truly start.
“Many thanks to you all,”
Menelaos tells them, at a frown,
“For your help to restore my Helen.”
“Thank the oath,” the son of Telamon grumbles.
“But any honest man who fears Zeus,
And would see decency overcome rude cruelty,
Would gladly come to your help,
Even unbound by such an oath,”
Odysseus oozed, smarmy.
“Just as young Ach–”
“Hadda restore my name, after you shamed me,
Back on Scyros,” the boy growls.
“How much have you already had?”
Patroclos asks, and pulls the empty cup away.
“Your father would rebuke me
For such a drunken state!”
“Let the boy have all he wants,”
Laughed the son of Tydeus.
“All too soon we cross the sea for Troy,
And leave all joy at our backs.
For now, let the boy enjoy what we have.”
“Such enjoyment forms the core of the event,”
Agreed old Nestor, and nodded that gray head.
“Let us all enjoy each other’s good company,
As long as lovely Selene travels the sky.”
Toasts were drunk to Nestor’s plan,
And all cheered as the party got underway.


*Megaron = throne room/great hall.


MLM icon init bonus points MLM I


Made one small change from 1st post on 1/25/16.  (Whoa, almost exactly a year!)

MLM No “H” Repost – “Adulterous Zeus”

Published January 16, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

“Adulterous Zeus”

“My wife doesn’t appreciate me,”
Zeus complained.
“You poor baby!”
Maia replied, smirking.

“My wife is terribly cruel to me,”
Zeus claimed.
“Awful, most awful!”
Danae exclaimed,
And sneezed.
(A gold allergy.  Surprising, no?)

“My wife doesn’t love me,”
Zeus insisted.
“A fool of a wife indeed not to love you!”
Semele answered.

“My wife will never be good to me,”
Zeus wept on Leda’s lap.
“But I’m good to you,”
Laconian lady Leda cooed back.

“Mom wants a divorce,”
Ares informed Zeus,
Once modern day dawned.

Zeus didn’t see it coming.

Everyone else did.


MLM icon init bonus points MLM H


Yup.  Still my favorite Missing Letter Monday post.  (Probably always will be.)

Originally posted 7/20/2015.

MLM No “G” Repost – “Mother Earth”

Published January 10, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

“Mother Earth”

Born at the start of it all,
Mother to so many,
With so many.

Her first husbands,
Ouranos and Pontos.
Also her sons.
(Eeew.)
They had no fathers.

Nereus,
Thaumas,
Phorkys,
Eurybia,
Even monstrous Ceto;
Pontos fathered these few.

Titans,
Cyclopes,
Hundred-handers,
Ouranos fathered so many.

Read the rest of this entry →

Loki at Christmas Time

Published December 24, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Among the gods who were no longer regularly worshiped, very little was more annoying than the sight of all the mortals getting excited for a religious festival.  Which one was most frustrating had changed with the years, of course.  Just at the present, Christmas was the most aggravating of all, even though it was — in large part — no longer religious in nature, being celebrated by any number of mortals who had little or no affection for Christianity.

While the period surrounding Christmas was frustrating for them all, it was worst to the Greek gods, because all their Roman counterparts inevitably came by, rubbing their noses in the continued popularity of Saturnalia.  After a few decades of that, Kronos started getting involved in the self-satisfied gloating, making it all the worse.  Most of the Greek gods tried to deal with it in an appropriately Stoic fashion — what Nietzsche would have called an Apollonian fashion, despite that Apollo was actually one of the ones least capable of Stoic reserve — but Hermes had never gone in for any of that self-denial nonsense.  If he didn’t like something, he didn’t deal with it.

So when the Roman gods came by to gloat, he usually went elsewhere.  He could count on his Roman counterpart to get distracted by the first pretty girl he saw — not that Hermes was any different — so he didn’t have to worry about being chased down to be gloated at elsewhere.

Usually, he went to hang out with other gods like himself.  Coyote was a favorite, even though he was still believed in, if not worshiped as such.  Still, in the past few centuries he was often standoffish, what with the European people coming in and oppressing his own people, and in the last few decades, he had started to become downright testy, because the white people were so rapidly destroying the natural world.  It was hard to blame him for his anger, but it certainly made him less pleasant company.  So Hermes had tried spending a few holiday seasons with Anansi, but such terrible things were happening in his part of the world that it wasn’t much fun to be around him, either.

This year, Hermes had hit on a good plan.  He would go to the frozen north and visit Loki.  The lands formerly inhabited by the vicious Vikings were now one of the most pleasant and peaceful regions of the world, and the other Norse gods still hadn’t forgiven Loki, so there wouldn’t be anyone pestering them.  Sure, there wouldn’t be any pretty girls — apart from Loki’s lovely wife, of course — but Hermes could go for a month or so without girls.

Read the rest of this entry →

Missing Letter Monday – No “Z”

Published November 21, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Sisyphus

Ever wonder how it feels
To share the most lamentable fate
Of that famous Greek,
Sisyphus?

I found out.

Sweeping leaves,
On a blustery November evening,
With a teeny-tiny broom
I needed to bend over to use
But I couldn’t bend over
Because there were too many people.

Every little gustlet
Brought new leaves aplenty,
Returning the old,
And adding more.

But there was a big party that night,
And the entryway needed to look neat.

This is why I don’t have parties.
This is why I don’t like parties.

Because I am
(Apparently)
Sisyphus.


MLM icon init MLM Z

The Quarrel between Athene and Poseidon

Published September 8, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

You know, Athene really seems to have trouble getting along with the other gods.  Or is that just my imagination?


The rocky hill in Attica was home to a number of people even before Kekrops arrived, but their ways were crude, and lacked the polish of civilization.

No one knew who Kekrops was, really.  They didn’t know where he had come from, or who his parents were.  Some said he had sprung whole from the ground, but that only made for more questions.

What mattered to the Attic people was that he brought them the ways to make their lives better.

He taught them to worship Zeus and the other Olympians.  And he taught them the ways of life the gods preferred.  (He taught them other things, too, that were less pleasant.  Like hating foreign ‘barbarians’ and disdaining the people from neighboring cities and enslaving those captured in war.  But no one likes to talk about that.)  By taking a wife and fathering three lovely daughters on her, he showed them how he wanted women to be treated.  The men liked that.  (The women, not so much.)

As the little village began to grow into a real city — or the tentative beginnings of one, at any rate — the people began to wonder just what they should call it.

Seeing an opportunity, Kekrops made a great offering to the gods, and told them that his city would one day be the finest city in any land, and that he would name that city in the honor of whatever god would be its protector.

Two of the gods appeared on that rocky hill, ready to take Kekrops up on his offer:  mighty Poseidon, god of the sea, and wise Athene, goddess of war.

Read the rest of this entry →

Subtitle Oopsy

Published September 6, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

I think I just won the “stupidest title for a blog post ever” award.

If there is such an award.

(I’m not sure if I’d actually want there to be one or not.)

Anyway, I just wanted to post about something stupid that actually tied in to my somewhat estranged “Greek mythology” theme.

So, I’m sorry to say that my birthday was last month, and as usual I couldn’t convince my family to pretend it wasn’t happening.  But at least they had the decency to only give me one present.  In this case, it was the Blu-Ray of the movie Iphigenia, based on the Euripides play Iphigenia at Aulis.  (But without the dea ex machina ending that scholars have been arguing about for centuries.)

I saw the movie years ago in a class, and I’d been trying to get my hands on it for a couple of years to see it again, but the DVD was long out of print, and apparently someone stole the Netflix lending copy.  (Seriously, it’s been on my brother’s queue for years.)  But it was finally released on Blu-ray recently by Olive Films (at least, I think that’s what the logo said) so I was finally able to see it again.

I hadn’t read the play yet when I first saw the movie, so I was surprised at just how much material there was before the start of the play.  (Must have been at least ten to fifteen minutes.)

The point of this post, though, is to tell you about a little goof they made in the subtitles.  (And yes, I only just got around to watching it yesterday.  On account of I have a slight problem with my television, and currently have to take Blu-rays to my brother’s place to watch them.)  For those who don’t know the story of the play, the only pertinent detail you need for my anecdote is that Agamemnon sent a letter back to Mycenae, asking that his eldest daughter, Iphigenia, be sent alone to Aulis, in order to marry Achilles.  Of course, his wife, Clytemnestra, wasn’t about to let her daughter go off alone, so she’s come to Aulis with her.  And when she’s talking to Agamemnon about the proposed marriage, she’s asking about what kind of man Achilles is.

And Agamemnon tells her that he’s “descended from Aesop.”

And I’m sitting here going “Um, what?”

Because I know that’s not what it said in Euripides.  Because while Aesop is one of those writers that — like Homer — has a partially (or entirely) mythologized life story, he’s still a real person.  (Probably.)  And lived in historical times.  And was a slave.

But the movie was going on, and I forgot about the line until after the movie was over.

Then I was suddenly like “Oh, duh!”

What the line actually said was that Achilles was descended from Asopos, not Aesop.  Asopos, of course, being a river god and the father of Aegina, who was kidnapped/ravished/impregnated by Zeus, giving birth to Aiakos, who was the father of Peleus, father of Achilles.

Now, it still strikes me as weird to pick Asopos rather than Zeus in order to talk about Achilles’ divine lineage (not to mention what about his mother, Thetis, the most powerful of the Nereids?) but presumably that was either because pretty much everyone in the mythic nobility is descended from Zeus, or — more likely — for metrical reasons.

But writing Aesop instead of Asopos…

…it’s hard to find rhyme or reason for that one.

Arachne

Published August 25, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

I don’t want to think about how long it’s been since the last time I posted a myth…


The young city had not yet decided on its name or patron god when the girl named Arachne was born.  As a child, she witnessed the struggle to select a holy protector, and the divine rivalry that ensued.

As the newly named Athens struggled its way towards being a city that might day hope to rival at least nearby Megara in size, if not more important places like Argos or Pylos (to say nothing of the mighty Mycenae, rich in gold, with which poor Athens could never hope to compete), Arachne and her age-mates grew from children to adults.  And, like all who had seen the gods with their own eyes, they grew rich in the talents of handicraft and wit.  But, like all who had witnessed such squabbles in their formative years, they grew rich also in disrespect for the gods.

The poems of the young men and women of Athens described the gods as petty and childlike.  The paintings and pottery of the young men showed them as crude and comical figures.  The domestic arts were the only ones that seemed to spare this disrespect.

Read the rest of this entry →

Rose B. Fischer

Author. Artist. Evil Genius.

My Tiny Joy

Where little things matter!

YOURS IN SISTERHOOD

a performative documentary project based on letters to the editor of Ms., 1972-1980

Klein's Other Toys

Comics, Funko Pops and Anime figures oh my!

BINARYTHIS

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK

Part-Time Monster

I eat books for breakfast.

Creating Herstory

Celebrating the women who create history

Kicky Resin

BJDs et al

Lala Land

(>°~°)><(°~°<)

A'Cloth the World

Where Textiles, Fashion, Culture, Communication and Art Come Together.

starshiphedgehog

Occasionally my brain spurts out ideas and this is where I put them

Rose B. Fischer

Author. Artist. Evil Genius.

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of history

medievalbooks

Erik Kwakkel blogging about medieval manuscripts

Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

Fantasy writer, avid reader / tea drinker, and Character Evolutionary

Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral webcomic by Ben Sawyer

Project Doll House

never too old to play with dolls

knotted things

All about the things that I'm all about.

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Omocha Crush

Secret Confessions of a Toy Addict

C.G.Coppola

Fantasy & Science-Fiction romance Writer

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Onomastics Outside the Box

Names beyond the Top 100, from many nations and eras

Riulyn's Blog

life, RPGs, and RPG music

Hannah Reads Books

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." -Neil Gaiman

Memoirs of a Time Here-After

the writings, musings, and photography of a dream smith

Taking a Walk Through History

Walking back in time to discover the origins of every historical route on earth

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

ΕΥΔΟΞΑ ΑΓΝΩΣΤΑ ΚΑΤΑΓΕΛΑΣΤΑ

Pullips and Junk

We're all mad about Pullips here!

mycupofteaminiatures

Handmade miniatures

Dutch Fashion Doll World

A Dutch Barbie collector in Holland

Welcome to wonderland5

all about collecting, making, curating and reselling great stuff

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

Reviews and News From the Doll World

Doll Nerd

Geeking out about kid stuff.

hookedondolls

Dolls, dolls, and more dolls.

It's a Britta Bottle!

Small Stories of a Twenty-Something Adventuring Through Life

DataTater

It's all small stuff.

The Photographicalist

Preserving the photographical perspective

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.