Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hero Song

Don’t fool yourself --

I am no goddess,

here to bless your way.

I’m just a woman,

weaving toward a life

while you spin

beyond the cliffs

of my yearning.

And you, Hero,

wandering in dreams,

when you strain

against the mast,

think of me,

alone here at my loom,

picking threads and

trying to compose

my own Siren’s song.

Think of me

and remember --

though goddesses

roll apples at your feet,

it was flesh and blood

nurtured the seeds

and wove the sails

that freed you.


  1. Wow Karen, this poem is a masterpiece. First, emotionally, it gave me chills on both reads. Especially the one where I read it aloud. Literature wise, I'm thinking Homer. And also one of my favorite Lieder songs, Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, (Shubert). And then, this is just so much like real life. Don't put me on an f-n pedestal, I am down here on the ground desperately tilling the earth for survival! Love love love this poem Karen.

  2. I agree with Catvibe! Masterpiece!

    The mythic journies we take -- the archetypes that are at the root of us all -- they follow us throughout our lives. The stories told over and over again.

    The ending of this poem nearly made me cry.

  3. No Separation

    In the deep of you
    is a gate that love can reach
    and reaching open.
    I tell you surely
    that you display the divine
    the moment the gate
    opens and the light
    flames forth into the warm lamp
    of your holy heart.

    At love's peak I see
    no separation between
    the goddess and you.

  4. Oh boy. You've really brought Penelope to life. It's wonderful! Every line is beautifully crafted, like her tapestry itself.
    I would love if you'd read my piece, "Oh, Nymph!"


  5. I love the archetypal nature of the characters you've created here. And I especially like the last part, "though goddessess roll apples at your feet..." This really appeals to me!

  6. Okay, Karen, I simply do not believe that you just stared writing when you started blogging. This is of a depth and beauty not normally possessed by the novice poet (or many seasoned poets for that matter!). It is exquisite, and like Cat said, even more so upon reading it aloud.

    You. Must. Be. Published. Period. :)

  7. Yes, an incredible depth.

    We uplift each other, both through our own efforts of support, and our heroic images of others which they, in turn, are inspired to fulfill. Only, we don't want to uplift too much. We don't want to weave those sails which will be used by them to sail away.

  8. This is lovely. As I read I was reminded of a song written by Janis Ian. "She Must Be Beautiful". The last stanza reads:

    She must be beautiful
    So beautiful
    to have stolen the winds
    from my sail.

    You can google the whole song. One of my favorites. Now I have another!

  9. Catvibe - I'm glad this inspires you to think of Shubert and my old pal Homer, whose story I borrowed. I don't know the song, so I'll have to find it. One of the things I enjoy about our community is that I am learning and growing from my membership in it.

    Faith - One of the things I love about mythology is the recognition of our own circumstance in something so ancient. Thanks for your comments.

    Christopher - Your answer takes the argument out of her -- as long as you stick around, that is! Leave her home alone again? It won't hold. (You're a pretty amazing thinker and poet, Johnny Applepoem!)

    Kat - I love Penelope, although I don't know how she endured such long separation and uncertainty! I'd love to read your poem, though I looked back through months of blogs and couldn't find it. Maybe you can give me a link? Thanks.

    Rachel - Thanks for the comment on those lines. I hesitated to include them (mixing my myths), but they just fit!

    Jennifer - You flatter me tremendously. I'm beaming!

    Jason - You are so right! There's a fine balance between supporting and enabling. Women who love often have a hard time finding that position, so it becomes the responsibility of the beloved to assist. Therein lies the problem. It's sort of the old "roots or wings" idea. Thanks for making me think about this.

    Roberta - I love Janis Ian! We must both be women of a certain age! LOL

  10. This poem carried me along. I wanted to see how it was resolved. A bit like reading a story, really.

  11. By the way, I just noticed the award! Thank you!! :-)

  12. You know this is right down MY passageway! You have done it again, Karen. Keep churning them out and you will have a book soon! Blessings, dear one. ;)

    Thanks for the award! I love it! ;)))

  13. You mentioned to me that you were "thinking mythology too." Indeed. Others have already established the virtuosity of the work and their gratitude for it, which I "second" heartily.

    What I love most is the vague inditement implied in this poem, of someone, of a kind of someone, of a breed of someones. "Hats off" to you.

  14. Karen - I responded on my blog, but here's the title to search: "Svengali Approach". That should get you to "Oh, Nymph!"


  15. Dave - Many thanks. I'm glad it kept you reading.

    Cat and K - You're welcome for the award. I think I got too lazy to deliver them. :(

    K - I'm glad to know we still float on the same seas! Thanks to you, I'm navigating the world of poetry again. Your encouragement means more than you can know.

    KGT - Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by; I may not have included Polyphemus, but we were certainly thinking Odysseus. I'm glad you picked up that tone...thinking of that breed of someones! Come back.

    Kat - I did find it, but I wasn't sure where to write my comment - there or here. I want to read it again, but you certainly titled it appropriately. He knew just how to manipulate her -- playing on an English major's sympathies. What a jerk!!

  16. Love this - Hero journey has been on my mind all week (taking some kiddos through the Odyssey next week). Funny how we tend to look at the man as the epic hero, but Penelope was the unsung hero in that tale for sure.

  17. a wonderful story full of images. this IS exquisite.

  18. bluesugarpoet - I love the lessons of the Odyssey. You'd have thought with all his cunning, that hero could have gotten home a little sooner...

    Apollinaire's Tatoo - I'm go glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for continuing to visit.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Hello Karen, sorry I flubbed the previous
    comment. Your poem is a stunner. I've
    been transported to another time. An
    excellent voice.

  21. Hi Karen, graceful is the word that comes to mind when I read this. I think both lyrically and you captured her grace. I too loved the apples line. Thank you for your comments, very much appreciated.) I look forward to reading more...

  22. Welcome, Cynthia! Thank you for your kind comments. You might want to look back at some of my earlier works. All seem to be different in style. I appreciate your stopping by.

    Selchie - Thanks your kind comment, too. I hope you're having success with your book. I look forward to hearing about that.

  23. Fantastic poem, Karen, from its multiple meanings to the sound that makes me think of the antique ode metre.

    I have just now noticed the award you gave me. Thank you so much!

  24. Such depths of longing and vulnerability here, and yet her feet are firmly planted on the ground. They have to be. Even while he's moving where the winds will take him.

    Your poems remind me so much of K's, Karen (which is the highest compliment I can pay :)). You both have a profound ability to weave images and spells with the most precious details. Here it was the apples rolling, and him "straining against the mast." Just beautiful.

  25. Vesper - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Sarah - I am humbled by your compliment -- the comparison to K. She is lightyears ahead of me in all aspects, but I thank you, thank you for saying that.

  26. You are a wonderful poet, Karen. I was reading the comments above, and I didn't know you had started writing when you started your blog. That is astounding.

    This is a beautiful poem, and each line sings. I love it all, but that ending is amazing:

    "though goddesses
    roll apples at your feet,
    it was flesh and blood
    nurtured the seeds
    and wove the sails
    that freed you."


  27. Oh, Karen, I agree absolutely...This IS a Masterpiece. I am so drawn to the 'era' though what you've written is timeless.

  28. Julie - I admire your poetry so that I take this as the highest of compliments. Thank you!

    I really still fear every time I post a poem! Opening up this way is new to me and still "secret" from most of the people I know. That's the reason for the name of the blog. Only even a couple of family members know about I'm writing. Truly, I'm surprised every time someone comments.

    Calli - Thank you! I noticed that several people were thinking mythology this winter, and I'm wondering why it is that we all seem to be drawn to that at this time...

  29. WOW! This is a fantastic poem! Such great writing, highly evocative, and the last few lines are stunning. SO well done!

  30. Yes, this is a wonderful piece. Thanks so much.