Tag Archives: monologue

“The Rage of Odysseus and the Cyclops”

 

[Polyphemus, painted by Jean-Leon Gerome]

“The Rage of Odysseus and the Cyclops”
Escaping near disaster made me bold.
Against the pleas companions wisely spoke,
I would not cease to taunt a wounded foe—
To make him feel again the blow
That rendered sightless that unsightly eye—
An eye that saw a meal, and little more,
Where gentler eyes would see a man in need.

The crash of boulders and resulting waves
Alarmed the crew, but rage was further fueled,
Not quenched, by drenching rains of salty sea—
The fire inside my spirit roared with flames
That strove to match the waves in height.
I thought I’d shout the fire ‘til none remained.

Despite increasing vehemence and force,
The hills he hurled and fiery words I shot
Became more futile as our distance grew.
Although I was exhausted, flames still burned.

Enraged about the men he had devoured,
I had endangered friends who were alive.
The smoke I blew had made me nearly blind,
And boulders hurled did not restore his sight.

a poem in blank verse–by Paul Burgess

Certain scenes from Homer continue to inspire me. This is the third poem I have written on this scene. The other two are here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/cyclops/   https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/the-blinding-of-the-cyclops-polyphemus/[As with everything I post, this is a first draft.]

A 3-D Scene at the Park

In Response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-nine/

a 3-part poem in blank verse

“Joe”
He hated letting Alma see him cry
But knew the tears would flow against his will.
Remaining silent, Alma squeezed his hand—
A gesture barely noticed by the man.
The aging woman knitting on the bench,
Who had reminded him of Mother, turned
Revealing features not a bit like Mom’s.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on him.
…The sweater, small and red, his mother had begun
To knit for John—the child in Alma’s womb!

“Alma”
She always felt uneasy when he cried.
It seemed attempts to comfort often failed.
Making matters worse, she didn’t know
Why Joe was crying when he had been fine.
Unsure of what to do, she squeezed his hand.

“Perhaps he misses his mother,” Alma thought,
On seeing the old lady on the bench
With yarn and knitting needles in her lap.

“Old Lady Knitting on the Bench”
“I knew I shoulda stayed at home to knit
And watch my stories ‘stead of comin’ here…
I got some cryin’ sissy-baby-man
A lookin’ like I’m sweet old Granny Smith
Who used to bake him pie and knit him scarves.
A granny? Please! I learned me long ago
That kids would send me early to my grave.
No siree…knittin nothin’ ‘cept for Chip
Who’d never send me to no nursin’ home.
He never sasses me, jus’ wags his tail.
Now, Sissy, carry’in on like a brat—
If kin to me, I’d go upside his head
To cure him of his cryin’, starin’ ways.”

“Cyclops”

“Cyclops (Blinded by Odysseus)”
[A monologue in blank verse by Paul Burgess]

[painting: Polyphemus, Johan Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein]

…More like a twig or crunchy bread than bone—

Reducing them to mush, I didn’t strain

My jaws on brittle bones as slight as theirs.

One man provided meat too scarce to hush

The growling beast inside my angry gut.

Who would expect the hero Ulysses—

Of prophecies divining tragedy—

To be the head of men a mouthful’s size?

Though blind, there’s something that I clearly see:

The cause of drastic effects might be small.

[A second attempt to explore the scene also examined in this poem:

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/the-blinding-of-the-cyclops-polyphemus/

At some point, I will likely try again to bring out the possible layers of interpretation contained in this classic scene from Homer.