Tag Archives: Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book 6

‘Spindles and Webs’ Thread 4/4: Transformations Poems (Book 6)

12 Sep

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 6

>>Featuring:

Rebecca Audra Smith, Sadaf Fatima

and Karin Heyer

___

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Act 1

‘The king in his guilty passion often took pleasure with the body he had so mutilated.’

by Rebecca Audra Smith

 

She let fall a string of no’s

so I took her tongue.

What use was it to her, to speak?

She was making too much fuss,

stressing me out. I ran for miles,

going nowhere, treading

old ground. I thought of her,

silence between four walls except

for the noisy mess of her hands

-now untied-

my fists dragged the air.

.

 A man looks good with a sister each side,

  she shadows my wife’s gilded days,

a limbless knowledge.

I keep them both safe as babes.

.

I grilled her tongue, decorated with

 a molar or two, and tenderly

 consumed with an asparagus side;

 butter and blood.

Act 2

‘While his limbs were still warm, the two sisters tore them apart’

by Rebecca Audra Smith

.

The kitchen’s a state.

Every knife used for the job,

each chopping board bears the hacks,

crimson staining their wood

and the floor is wet,

slippery wet, with a smeared

litre or two of blood.

.

The water in the sink is bubbling pink,

fly’s eggs hatching in the mop,

a cat delicately sidesteps a large puddle

then laps at spilled drops.

.

The servants don’t know where to start

with the family all eaten or feathered

shrieking in the rafters,

and a crime scene lingering

in the cupboards.

.

A serving girl scours and watches

herself in the slick, gory

bronze of a pot.

 

Art 

by Sadaf Fatima

.

Where there’s so much wrong in the world,
Art helps make things all right,
Your pain becomes beauty,
Tears shape into touching words,
Hands knit miracles,
You see the unseen,
Feel the splendour many eyes miss,
And create a world of your own.
You create a world within a world.
When the sorrow rains on you,
And the storms shudder,
You make art your shelter,
And it makes things all right.

Rhetoric: Violence breeds Violence

by Karin Heyer

(Inspired by Pandion, Procne, Philomena, Tereus)

.

Imagine, the most lovely girl

you have ever seen….

innocent, young, gentle and caring,

untouched

Philomena,

daughter of Pandion, aged King of Athens.

For a long five years

her sister Procne had lived far away,

bound by marriage,

To the rich King of Thrace, Tereus.

She had become the loving mother ot Itys,

their only son.

Procne longed to embrace her sister

family bond wanting bonding,

talking about melodies past…

She begged Tereus to sail for Athens,

bring Philomena to their kingdom,

so that she could cradle Itys in her arms

and wile away hours

in happy chatter.

Weaving, weaving a tapestry

of contented family life…

Tereus obeyed her wish,

a fateful wish!

.

Tereus set eyes on Philomena,

hot fire shot through his veins,

his only thought:

to possess this girl!

He won, he raped, gorged!

He cut out her complaining tongue

and

.

-impossible to believe-

.

he raped, again her speechless body,

hid her in a high-walled steading

where his atrocious crimes were committed,

telling trusted Procne her sister is dead!

She was violated

In utter desolation Philomena

was weaving, weaving a tapestry

of her betrayed, silenced life,

telling her plight,

this tapestry was sent to her loving, mourning sister,

who understood

and

.

-enraged turned to revenge-

her husband’s foul deed,

this unspeakable crime.

The sisters meet,

transformed by rage

their furious minds turned

to an inhuman plan,

intent to hurt most!

Violence breeds violence

in finest hearts,

it provoked profoundly!

Gentle Philomena, too,

schemes heartless schemes.

The sisters madly murder Itys,

adored son of Tereus.

The father eats his own son’s flesh

at their princely, planned feast,

where once kindly women,

now bend under blinding hate;

where Philomena, crimson with Itys’ blood

throws his severed head towards the gorging father.

Thereupon, unhinged by rage, Tereus,

tomb of his own son,

raised his sword

towards the brain-sick, wild-eyed women;

fleeing, they hovered in sad air,

growing weeping wings of sorrow;

became birds in flight.

One flew off to the woods alone,

the other rested under the eaves of the roof.

Tereus turned into a bird too.

All three hurt beyond repair,

never to love again.

___

 

You can find out more about Rebecca, Sadaf and Karin here: 

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Rebecca Audra Smith

http://beccaaudra.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

Sadaf Fatima

http://lifepeopledreamsandme.blogspot.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/art_books_tea

Karin Heyer, as yet, does not have a website

 

 

>>>>>

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‘Spindles and Webs’ Thread 3/4: Transformations Poems (Book 6)

3 Sep

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 6

>>Featuring:

Carol Robson and Nat Hall

___

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Silky Weaver

(Arachne and Minvera)

by Carol Robson

.

Weaver of tales
resplendently regaled
self-indulgent
from humbleness,
interlacing her stories,
gathering her fame
in silkiness
of living threads.

.
Disguised challenge
old woman confronts
respect the goddess,
silky weaver
in defiance
unbending
that her substance
of threads
of weaves
are the finest
to behold.

.
Battles of weavers
spinning their tales,
tapestries in arrogance
silky weaver
ridiculing
scorning
the Gods
in weaves
of their
debauchery.

.
In ire
silky weaver
encounters
wrathful goddess,
striking silky weaver
in anger.

.
Atonement
head hanging shame
by the weaved noose,
then in pity
resurrection
of silky weaver
to poisonous
silky spinning
Arachnid.

.
©Carol Robson 2013

.

Spinning Spirits

by Nat Hall

.

Inside her web of dreams,
she feels world souls
pass through
her
hands,

thinnest of yarn,
white filaments caress fingers
as she sits tight behind
her wheel.

She knows
the beauty of
each thread, rhythm of
her foot on treadle, the joy with which hooked flyer spins
in a rengaine…

Apparatus built for a song.

Her eyes,
drawn inside
every ounce of wool
she washed & brushed with
so much care
now looks
fine silk;

she does not
listen to
others,
but
a
north
wind that
filters through
the wooden frame of
her own gift…

For days on end,
she simply stops to
watch the clock,
as spinning
spirits
fill
her
heart.

She does not know,
she will be punished for
her deed, as jealous
hands are told to
turn her
mortal
skills
in
a
new
shape,
her abdomen
became her wheel.

© Nat Hall 2013


Inspired from the tale of Arachne & Minerva

.

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You can find out more about Carol and Nat here: 

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‘Spindles and Webs’ Thread 2/4: Transformations Poems (Book 6)

20 Aug

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 6

>>Featuring:

Kate Garrett and Nell Perry

___

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spider bitten

by Kate Garrett 

(After Ovid’s ‘Arachne’)

yes, weave these tales well:
webs of gods, men, heroics.
misjudge the goddess,
race against her loom. spindly
creature, hanging from a thread.

Revenge Englynion*

by Kate Garrett

(After Ovid’s ‘Tereus, Procne and Philomela’)

Tereus must pay the price
Procne makes her sacrifice
After Bacchanalian rites.

Itys nursed at Procne’s breast,
At her hands his gruesome death –
Buried in his father’s chest.

Sister’s ruin beat mother’s care:
Philomela’s life is spared –
Nightingale upon the air.

.
*“Englynion” is the plural of “englyn”, or various short, rhyming Welsh verse forms. The form used here is the englyn milwr, or soldier’s englyn: three lines of seven syllables each, with end rhymes. I put three of them together to make one poem, hence “englynion”.

 Leto & Niobe

by Nell Perry

.

…………. …grief is arrow-shaped,
turning flesh to
something blunt,
shifting
in the light’s filmy
residue,

.
………….while
reckless language is
formless like foam.
Unfastened words
are violent
nymphs, each
electric with exquisite
chaos. Salt

.
water can be both
a teardrop or a
mighty sea; what

.
……………remains is
bereft, a petrified
stump that may once
have been
something motherly…

The Swallow

by Nell Perry

 

………….…is it with its silence that

the swallow

bothers you, whefting swoop-

threads over

the clouds’ upturned hooks? There is

recognition in the songless

stitching

but not peace. And embellishment;

.

………….unstrung

murmurations, as in all

embroidery. A tongue is a fanciful thing, but

without it there is only

.

tapestry

on which to tether weightless thoughts

………. …and this the swallow knows

more than most, entwined, as she is

.

………….with the sky’s slub yarns. In

spite of everything we ingest the ones we

love, unknowingly. Split strands are

interlaced, like those

.

……. …..blithe

loops whorled across the fabric of the air…

— 

 

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You can find out more about James and Richard here: 

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‘Spindles and Webs’ Thread 1/4: Transformations Poems (Book 6)

12 Aug

TRANSFORMATIONS

George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab

__________________

Poems Inspired by Book 6

>>Featuring:

James Knight and Richard Biddle

___

.

Arachne

by James Knight 

.

My crime was telling stories too well. .

I dished the dirt,

spilt the beans,

exposed saucy secrets

in lurid words.

.

I dropped names,

all of them,

every last rotten one:

bosses, head honchos, rulers, gods,

the prime movers and mountain shakers,

seducers and liars.

.

There was no hiding!

.

Of course, that bitch won’t tell you

(not even privately)

that it was my way with words

that angered her,

that she was mad with envy

when she saw my divine prose

towering

over her mundane maundering,

inching her out,

grabbing the headlines.

.

She’ll say I peddled salacious pap,

and that’s why I had to go.

.

Her hypocrisy disgusts me.

.

Now,

from the shadows,

I spin little stories

that no one reads –

.

Mayor Dies Suddenly

New Estate Planned

Twin Puppies Drowned

.

– still hoping that one day

I’ll catch something big,

a story that will go down

in history,

a legend.

_

.

Spider Diagram

by Richard Biddle

. I blink Or do I? Something flickers – An electric buzz like the moment before thunder when hair fizzes and bones bristle. In a matter of nanoseconds, a 16mm film inflates my bustling brain with a hurricane of cinematic whispers. All my life rushes through me like a brakeless freight train. It comes to a mind-shattering stop at my skull’s centre. My body sizzles to a magnet of static needles flexes its pea-sized muscles. Limbs that once worked memory’s loom retract down to this one-pointedness. Two thumbless hands knotted together; eight fingers, eight scuttling wires. Pulp, fist and knuckles knit into a purple abdomen. .I’m no ordinary arachnid. —– .

Web of Words

by Richard Biddle

. A spider, still as a sentry. . He moves closer. His breath disturbs her and he catches a glimpse of what she’s guarding; a murky pool. . Beneath its oily meniscus something glints. He dips his hand in, retrieves the object; a rusty key. . She scurries up his arm towards his ear. . And here she spins a yarn telling him no lock exists for this ancient tool. Then she vanishes. . Looking deeper into the black, black water he sees himself. . .

You can find out more about James and Richard here: 

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