The Logos of Hera

Never a more distasteful wifely duty
than to amuse the friend of your Husband
And when that friend has done your Husband favors
The repayment is not of your choosing.

For when Paris did judge, he demanded to see all
He had been granted power over the gods for but a single hour
And he chose to humiliate and exercise that power
He chose to strip bare the Gods, and witness our glory.

For it is not often remembered that three goddesses spoke to Paris.
Each of us had the chance to guide him, to give him purpose.
And for my part, I told Paris nothing but the truth.
I told him of the glory that could belong to him and his daughters.

Helen, the Great Queen. Helen, the Mother of Civilization,
and Paris, her consort. Paris, the father of her daughters.
One of many, I warned him. For it is only a foolish man who cannot accept
that a beautiful and strong woman's heart can beat for more than one.

Tribute would flow, and Troy would have risen
With Sparta by her side, a partner in the great host.
The seas nearly choked with schools of ships,
All crying the name of Helen, our great and merciful Queen.

And at that glory, Paris wept tears of rage.
He begged me to reconsider, pleaded with me to make him a smaller king
but A king of his own land, and his own people.
He abased himself and wept that his brother would be the True inheritor of his line.

Paris had been offered the great temple of the earth,
To be one of its caretakers, one of its guardians, and one of its true heroes
Instead, he chose to loot the first statue from its alcove,
and claim that it was his just reward for following orders.

And so he sat in his sty, convinced of his glory,
as he hid the light of the world within a city wall
And when the world asked for its return he instead killed
to preserve his squalid place in the stories of the poets.

The Mantle of Helen the Great will pass to another,
but that glory will be transitory, that Light obscured
by the cruel and base men who Paris and his kin shall become.
For Paris could have received three gifts for his judging

Had he been not cruel.

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Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

Writing these has been the Closest thing to a divine revelation I've ever had writing poetry.

It's a great feeling, and I can totally understand how some folks might mistake this feeling for religious ecstasy. To me, it's similar to the joy of finally finding that one puzzle piece that bounced off the table.

And again, if you want any clarifications about my thought process or my references in the poem, feel free to ask.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

mhagle's picture

Wonderful.

There isn't anything I can say that will do it justice. Smile

The music is nice as well.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

detroitmechworks's picture

@mhagle I always feel that urge to run up to people who tell me it's great and scream "No, it's hot garbage! Please, tell me how I can make it better!"

Fortunately, it's less now than it used to be.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

delving into the history of the Iliad and Odyssey
http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl257/Ancient/iliad_and_odyssey.htm

My grandmother had a big book (maybe from time-life?) of the Iliad and Odyssey full of neat illustrations. It led to my love of mythology, which finally led me in my youth to find Joseph Campbell and his power of the myth and the hero of a 1000 faces
https://billmoyers.com/series/joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-1988/

So glad the muse is speaking to you!
220px-Muse_reading_Louvre_CA2220.jpg

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

detroitmechworks's picture

@Lookout When he makes assumptions about the universality of the myths. In many ways I feel that he was expounding on the myths that TPTB have found profitable to disseminate. There are many other traditions in mythology which do not fall into his guidelines.

For example he completely glosses over the Triple Goddess as a constant figure, and instead represents her as representative of male desire. There are other explanations, especially considering that the aspect of "The Fates" is quite common within mythology and the idea of independent female goddesses is a direct challenge to the usual established societal order.

But then, that's me getting my mythology and my politics mixed up. Smile

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

@detroitmechworks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Goddess_(Neopaganism)

...and have seen them around the world. I can't find the shot I wanted...can't remember where I saw it, but it was similar to this three mothers...however it showed the maiden, mother, and widow
1 cornium (35)-1.jpg

From Campbell's hero journey perspective(boy becoming man), the maiden becoming the mother would be an interpretation...but I'm no mythologist nor Campbell scholar.

A Triple goddess logos might be interesting?

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

detroitmechworks's picture

@Lookout I actually have a theater piece in mind, kinda like "Spoon River Anthology" but rather than it being about the epitaph of a small town, I am envisioning a beach scene for this.

WIP title of this is "On a Small Beach Outside Troy" and I'm just imagining it as 25 poems (12 heroes, 13 Gods) which tell a story of the war and the greed of man and the lamentation of the gods. Of course I hope the FINAL piece will be the most hopeful, "The Logos of Hestia" which will, unlike all the other speeches will do nothing to speak of what should have happened and cast blame or claim credit, but rather comment on things that will happen, things that will be done, and the heroes who kept the civilization alive while the fools killed each other.

Essentially, since in the Mythology Hestia was demoted to serve as the fire/house keeper of the Olympians, I think it's only just that she be the one who tends the fire of civilization while the rest of the world goes crazy.

Yes, I may be making an Anti-war statement. Smile

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Shahryar's picture

@detroitmechworks

he's got some fascinating ideas about the myths and their origins

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Shahryar Of course he also served and was quite familiar with the idiocy of our society. Smile

I do greatly like his search for more personal meaning within the stories rather than search for some prosaic and ethereal myths.

Of course, I haven't read as much of him as I should have, I must admit, and it's been YEARS. Another author I should probably pick up again. Smile

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JekyllnHyde's picture

@detroitmechworks

Goodbye to All That remains extremely relevant to this day, almost 90 years after it was first published in 1929.

As you know, after Wilfred Owen was killed a few days before the war ended on November 11, 1918, both Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, another great writer, were instrumental in getting Owen's poetry published.

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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

detroitmechworks's picture

@JekyllnHyde I'm going to have to check out that book as soon as I can. Thank you for the information.

I always love admitting when I don't know something. Means something new to learn. I'm actually not as familiar with Early 20th century literature as I should be. I was turned off to it heavily in college, and am only now understanding it.

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Shahryar's picture

@detroitmechworks

a lot of it comes out of the WWI experience. As you might expect, many who came back were horrified by it all.

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enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

@enhydra lutris What I find funny is the thought process that brought this about. After reading the Logos of Odysseus, it seemed like he was continuing an argument that was started by Ajax. Of course, reading Ajax suggests that he too was responding... Which led to who else would have been speaking, and then the Ghost of Paris' speech of course leapt to the fore as something I'd want to write... and then I realized that he'd blame it all on the gods, and that was when I thought about the Goddesses and how THEY would have felt being treated as they were...

So, the first two were EASY. The next one may be a little more difficult, but I'm trying to space these out and only write when inspiration strikes me. I've been lucky that It seems both Clio and Calliope have been kind recently. (Thalia has been taking a break it seems.)

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

thunderous applause

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Snode This feels like something I read a long time ago, honestly, and am trying to recreate from the scraps of memory that remain.

Of course, the muses are fickle so I give thanks to them all at this point. Far to long it's been since poets invoked their names. (Suddenly really want the muses to be the characters that introduce the speaking heroes... and yes, this piece absolutely will need a chorus. Smile )

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks Yes, it does have a seasoned feel to it.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Snode Trying not to burn out, rather just pace these, because they are flowing very nicely right now.

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