Heroes and Monsters and Gods

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A humanities lesson:
remember the Classics?
Those old dead white guys
and their legends of yore;
lectures –whoops, I mean
adventures-- unending
of heroes, and monsters and gods.

The whole sex-crazed pantheon,
those randy old gods and
their red-hot mommas
with a cheat and a nod
trailing half-divine babies
like seed corn, to grow
into heroes, and monsters and gods.

I used to think most of them –
the kick-ass ones anyway –
were guys (you know, penned
by the men of their time?)
but I look again to find
there were strong women
among heroes, and monsters and gods.

Aphrodite, the hottie
(boom-chika wow wow);
Athena and Artemis?
Armed to the teeth!
Queen Hera made pom-juice
"The Big Thing," koritsi;
and damn! those nymphs
and muses could party
with heroes, and monsters and gods.

Medusa, poor girl, she had
one long bad hair day,
Circe turned all the men into swine,
The Maenads (watch the nails!)
all drank like fish,
Harpies shrieked,
Sphinx riddled,
and scaled Sirens lured
those heroes, and monsters and gods.

I guess it just shows
how we misremember
and I guess it just shows
how we twist the past.
But they're still great old stories,
whimsical and wild
the same thrilling tales
I loved as a child
brimming with ladies
of power and passion
for heroes, and monsters and gods.

(C) 2014 by Rosetti C.
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7 Comments

  1. Healing Slowly

     /  April 23, 2014

    I loved this one. I’ve always gravitated to strong female characters in the books I’ve read. I always felt too weak in my own life, because I was unable to keep from being hurt by my abusers. So, for a time, I would live vicariously through these strong women, with swords, rifles, and/or magnificent magical abilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Glad you liked it! My husband’s currently back in school, finishing his degree, and had to fill in a humanities credit. It brought back memories of all the myths, fairy tales, legends and fantasy novels I used to love, especially for the strong female characters.

      Somehow the refrain “heroes and monsters and gods” got stuck in my head and… well, you see where it got me!

      Like

      Reply
    • It’s been a good while since I posted this poem, but I thought you two might be interested in a friend’s new paintings of strong females from mythology. She’s posting their “backstories”, one each day, and this is the first: https://bjcmstudio.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/legends-part-1-the-maenad/

      Like

      Reply
  2. This is wonderful! A friend of mine is teaching the Iliad to troubled teens. This reminded me of all the different approaches she used to unpack it with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks, Janet! There are a lot of great juicy, bawdy, funny and otherwise relevant bits to the old myths and legends. It’s kind of like Shakespeare … depending on how it’s presented, it can by dry and unfathomable, or captivating and hilarious.

      I have a goddaughter that complained once that art history was boring. So I started sending her a weekly email with a crazy art-history bit in it: how the bronze men on Venice’s clock tower were responsible for the first-ever killing by robot, why Fragonard made a painting about looking up women’s skirts, and what’s with Gabrielle d’Estrées and her sister in that nutty nipple-portrait? She loved it.

      Like

      Reply
    • It’s been a good while since I posted this poem, but I thought you two might be interested in a friend’s new paintings of strong females from mythology. She’s posting their “backstories”, one each day, and this is the first: https://bjcmstudio.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/legends-part-1-the-maenad/

      Like

      Reply
  3. Arletcis like this make life so much simpler.

    Like

    Reply

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