Tag Archives: Ariadne

Reconciliation Effort

          Theseus slew the Minotaur and escaped

          with the aid of Ariadne’s thread but,

            I learned later—after my mythology book had spent

          dark years mildewing in a box—abandoned her on Naxos.

 

            I came to consider that youth unheroic, more than

            just careless in causing his father’s suicide,

          returning alive from the man-beast’s den,

          and forgetting to change black sail for joyous white.

 

            So I try to reconcile the creep and the hero from

            my reading of long ago, 

 

            and will work on Jason and Medea the same.

          At least she gave her man blood and guts

         and a dragon exit—half of the couple, heroic—

         perhaps.

 

Ariadne

Still dawn. She perches, angled in the chair–

Chin sharp in sleep, joints stark through soft-worn clothes,

Her eyelids tense, ridged even in repose,

One brittle wrist protruding through her hair.

My shadow bars her. I would block that care

That crumples, wrests her limbs in broken pose:

Her body, hated, dies. Her longing grows,

Till soul drifts out through eyes thinned with despair.

 

I’ve guarded her a week. She doesn’t move.

My shadow’s stiff with watching. She first came

For breath; now breathing lengthens, rasps, in sleep.

What secret touch from me might wake her, prove

There’s substance still in wanting, that her name

Is life’s pure thread, spun by her soul to keep?

 

*Previously published in Kaleidoscope, 1998-99.

 

Contributor Notes: Adele Gardner’s first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, is available from Sam’s Dot Publishing (http://sdpbookstore.com/poetrybooks.htm, keyword search “Gardner” or “Astophel” to go right to it). She has had poems appear in American Arts QuarterlyThe Cape RockBibliophilosThe City PrimevalBellowing ArkZ MiscellaneousStatus Hat, and more. Much of this occurred under her previous byline, Lyn C. A. Gardner. You can find out more about Adele by visiting her website, www.gardnercastle.com.

Dionysus on the Death of Ariadne

I do not admire Perseus for killing one woman, in her bridal dress still breathing of love. 

He shook in his hand the deadly face of Medousa, and turned armed Ariadne into stone.

                                                           ~ Nonnus, from the Dionysiaca

 

A nectared thread in the maze
…………and a cask of bees at the dread end of everything,
…………there was honey enough, and love enough, and enough
–strange, vast word–enough.
…………………………………But I tell you, that’s how it was, enough
…………………………………of any one thing: immense fruitful fields,
…………………………………vineyards, olives so heavy on the branch
…………..the limbs seemed to bow like actors halted
…………..on stage. It was always this way. We drank
and we ate. We made love between courses.
……….If we thought of scarcity, it was another’s
trouble, never our own. We had the grace
……………………………to wish them well, to offer a pear
……………………………for the journey, and the grace, too, to forget
………………..them as soon as the road bent beyond our sight.
……We managed our joy, never questioned our right to it,
……never thought one half of everything was nothing at all.