Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Poem Draft

A rough first draft, but if I tighten it a bit I might be able to do something with it. It's based, of course, on Euripides.

Medea to Jason

I saved your life; they saw me save it
who stood on the Argos-decks and saw
the ships come rushing like sea-gull's flight
with spray of the sea and sign of the sun,
bearing down on you like morning light.
My dearest brother, my father's son,
who in the sunlit gardens had played,
my dearest kin, my sweetest soul, --
with the bronze at my side I gave him the night,
I sent him to darkness of death and of sea.
As his blood licked the foam and lept on the wave,
spreading like wind-blown fog on the current,
I saved your life. They saw me save it
when you sowed the seed of the dragon's teeth,
when the gods were against you, and without friend
you wandered, but I was good to you,
and I, half-crazed with love for you,
saved your life in despite of the gods.
Now all of these years in a little box,
as a little wife in a little town
my blood I've hid out of love for you,
my divinity hot with the heat of the sun,
my fire and fierceness, to be your wife,
to be a Greek; and for endless days
I bore the trial of name and despite--
barbarian! witch! vile of blood! --
I, who am kin of the royal sun! --
the names out of love I patiently bore,
and I bore the yoke, and I bore your sons,
for I was yours and you were mine,
a joy worth the trade of blood divine!
Until the day when your Grecian slut,
with her simpering ways and sluggish blood
came calling and you crept away,
a worm, a snake, after lesser things,
who had had to bed the kin of the gods.
Then you hid yourself and your slimy sin
behind the faces of our sweetest sons;
to free them from the stigma of blood --
the stigma of me -- such a sun-bright sin,
to be a princess of a foreign land
where the sun once wooed a Phoenician maid
who bore my father, a gold-rich king.
Such shame! How dare I live, a god to them,
when every Hellene a brat has borne
apparently can better me in every way!
Steal my life, and steal my soul,
and steal my sons to sate your sin,
and you will see, in a light so bitingly fierce,
in a fire that only the sun-born can light,
then you will see, with the burst of a stunning dawn,
what it is that you stole, and in despair
you will rue the day your mother bore,
you will rue the light, you will rue the day,
you will rue the sun that makes you see,
and weep in the morning at dawning light!
For I am Medea; call me a witch,
a barbarian-slut, and curse my name,
but never again as the sun survives
will you stray from me in your slightest thought,
or cast me aside, or take me for nought;
for as long as you live, and wherever you go,
this pain will sear your inmost soul.

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