(This interview has been edited for clarity and length)
Ismene? The youngest one?
Now there’s a piece of work I love.
A foil? Of course! She obeys, I resist.
Deliberates to my impulsiveness.
Calls me obstinate
when I go for brave.
It’s a major story line:
my world is never hers;
hers is never mine.
She wants what? Center stage?
Can you hear it now?
The chorus sings: Too weak …
untragic flaws … can’t bear
the weight of her father’s curse …
or some such things.
Not the stuff of heroines!
Of course she’s swept aside.
What’s a stronger sister for?
Look. Here’s the bottom line:
in this doomed world
prophets come to taunt the great.
We’ve known this all our lives.
She’s better hiding in the dust
than waiting for the cue to die.
Enough. Let’s go back. You asked
about my father’s final days.