05 December 2007

December poem of the month

This isn't a Christmas season poem; however, it does pick up an earlier theme about Christianity and Mythology. Perhaps I'll come up with a Christmas poem closer to the celebratory date. Meanwhile, happy Advent!

Semele’s example
Exodus 33:20

This love was tender, terrible: a sweet
self-sacrificing passion. As he kissed
her feet, he promised anything she wished
and swore upon the sacred river Styx.
No love had been like this: so strong it threw
his power down as plaything for her homely
hands. But she was different, for she only
asked to know him in his unveiled glory—
Only that! Zeus groaned and shuddered earth
with weeping, but his oath stood still. In pain
no god had known, he stripped off human raiment,
and, as he knew she must, she died in flames.
Into the vacuum of his agony
their son-god breathed, alive to die and rise in Spring.


1 comment:

darlin said...


I think this may be my favorite of your poems of the month.