Thursday, July 31, 2014


image credit: Muse Kalliope (Calliope) Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston
; 5th C. Attic Red Figure Pyxis,
Hesiod Painter ca 460 - 450 BC 


…the conspicuous differences between the poems of Hesiod and between Hesiod and Homer existed in tension with the unified poetic tradition of epos… ~Ralph Rosen, University of Pennsylvania 

odyssey driven by wrath and weaves
Hesiod Homer and nepenthes

©2014 Calliope's Lyre stephaniepope
#ohj wrath, odyssey #mythopoetics #distich #tenwords #micropoetry

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


photo credit:  Mt Parnassus, Raphael,  A fresco from the interior
walls of the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican Palace.
For more on the fresco see U of Michigan on line


shapes oddly Homeric journey & battle;
like a shipwreck in human shadows in a
cast of sunlight; how yonder a
banquet of mythic residue echoes still

©2014 DELPHIC SPACE stephaniepope
#ohj shipwreck, banquet #mythopoetics #4lines #micropoetry

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


photo credit: Pete Gregoire National Geographic


           ~for Brian Landis

a boomer hits a bloomer
the giant, monster saguaro
lit aflame
late, late

and when a boomer
boomerangs a bloomer
glimpse the face
giving face to "I's"
that steal the face

below water.
when you look, steel your face
and not the heart killing you
in toward death by fantasy*

©2014 Euterpe's Magic stephanie pope


*for the dual role images play in psyche-making see Brian Landis, "The Morning Sun Is More Precious Than Gold Even If The Spaniards Don't See It That Way"  line 36 in Feathered Ladder: Selected Poems Dennis Patrick Slattery, Brian Landis, Fisher King Press il piccolo edition 2014.

*1. "Euterpe is carrier of the striking and electrifying attribute of her father Zeus: the lightning bolt. We find this euterpian magic at work in the electronic age of music; we find it as well in the digital speed with which iTunes informs the world. Looking back to one of America’s iconic musical groups, The Grateful Dead, we find the memorable emblematic image for their 1974 Steal Your Face album cover: the lightning bolt—diagonally etched blue and red across the top of a skeleton skull. Whether or not this was a deliberate homage to Euterpe, she is nonetheless implicitly

represented, as is of course, stormy Zeus, her father." (see FIG. 2) For this quote  see L. Martina Young

FIG. 2 The Grateful Dead album cover, Steal Your Face


Sunday, July 27, 2014




for fig-high Odysseus
underneath a small rock
lay a big mouth

between oak and rock
for Achilles
lay none

©2014 Thanátou and Tou Thanátou stephaniepope
#ohj rock, Achilles

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Ulysses hanging from the branch of a fig tree, looking
down in terror at the whirlpool Charybdis, Scylla as a
sea monster writhing around rocks at left; after a watercolour
by Fuseli (Schiff 1362), illustration to Pope's translation of
 Homer's 'Odyssey'; proof before letters. 1806 Engraving and
© The Trustees of the British Museum no.1853,1210.557



her horrible whirlpool gulping the sea-surge down, down
but when she spewed it up—like a cauldron over a raging fire—
all her churning depths would seethe
               ~Charybdis, Odyssey Book 12, Robert Fagels trans.

thirsting eros tempts soul
a whirlpool near grabs &
pulls with more force, aflame
like a cauldron seethes
pushing toward art

stephaniepope #ohj whirlpool, tempts

Friday, July 25, 2014


Ulysses and the Sirens, 1891
John William Waterhouse
[image file in public domain]


know thyself
nothing else

the hybrid monster
the hybris narrative

©2014 What Does A Siren Say stephaniepope
#ohj siren, hubris  #10words #mythopoetics #4lines


1. In myth, sirens are feminine hybrid monsters (aka psychic facts) and like the outdoor sirens that sound out natural woes now, when a siren sounds you better hunker down and listen up.
2. In myth, siren abilities are the unconscious abilities able to take over and control narratives.
3. Hybris is a variant spelling for the word hubris, pride or ego inflation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Homeric Musing  /Flaxman Design, 1899
see Homer, Iliad, Samuel Butler translation


strict yet
flexible fate
Homer's dactyl

©2014 Holy Daughters stephanie pope
#ohj dactyl, fate


1. see Rodney Merrill, Translating The Odyssey

Monday, July 21, 2014


photo credit: Orange Street Press /


Bright Ithaca, furthest to the west lay low
yet thundered overhead where O
tricky old bow-handler strung the bow

do you feel it
tensions prove a line precisely strung
touching once where absence hung

do you hear it
going about its own release
Bright Ithaca, at peace

2014 Unknot stephanie pope
#ohj, bow, Ithaca

Friday, July 18, 2014


image location: wiki

            ~For Diane

Solidly watered our
Dry soul running runny
Mandarin Duck*
You me

©2014 Blood Wedding stephaniepope #fivelines #mythopoetics #micropoetry


*The name yuanyang, which refers to Mandarin Ducks, is a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture; these birds usually appear in pairs and the male and female look very different.[5]   Yuanyang is “coffee tea” or yingyong, first made using 4 parts coffee to 7 parts milk tea. There are many variations and name changes, cultural migrations, etc that have ensued since inception of the 1936 concept, "yingyong". Imaginally speaking, the inner, alchemical wedding achieved between two very different in-forming principles, as in yin-yang ‘seems’… and renders a seeming image deeply watered.

The poetic image is instinctually harmonic and an achievement which moves fluidly [or "solidly watered"] It "stays together" like a married pair, always with one likened to a secret not to be told. This 'secret partner' suggests stable relational bonds in the poetizing form that is being [re] imagined. Conceptually the generated “fluid achievement” [entheogen] is that to which, as metaphor, ‘mandarin duck’ poetically refers. Just as mandarin duck is to making coffeetea so, too Homer's mythic image of the blood wedding is to making the mythopoetic achievement heart-felt in the soul of the poem.  Poetic achievements are achievements in soul-tending soul-making, an intelligibly felt, intuited language drawing the word interiors picture into words.

 Also, the muse-phrase of poetizing wordplay that begins or inspires what becomes the poem is  yuanyang-yingyong-yinyang.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Odysseus Slays The Suitors, Attic red-figure skyphos
c. 440 BC, from Tarquinia, by the Penelope Painter


...Ulysses tore off his rags and sprang on to the broad pavement with his bow and his quiver full of arrows. He shed the arrows on to the ground at his feet and said, "The mighty contest is at an end. I will now see whether Apollo will vouchsafe it to me to hit another mark which no man has yet hit.        
            ~Odyssey, Book XXII, The Death of Suitors, Samuel Butler translation
oddly, Apollo
faithful Odysseus

©2014 Apollon stephanie pope
#ohj faithful, Apollo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Odysseus and the suitors [The Odyssey Books 21-22]


Enchanted stem
Homeric speech
Lotus arrow

©2014 Pharmakon stephaniepope
#ohj lotus, arrow


1. The arrow of Odysseus, tipped with toxikkon, is to the suitors as the lotus is to lotus-eaters. Likewise is Homeric language enchanted stem tipped in the musing marrow of alien pharmakos and pharmakon.

2. Odyssey, Book
 IX, Samuel Butler translation

Odysseus tells how adverse north winds blew him and his men off course as they were rounding Cape Malea
, the southernmost tip of the Peloponnesus, headed westwards for Ithaca... 

"I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of 9 days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars."

3. Odyssey, Book XXII, The Death of Suitors, Samuel Butler translation

...Ulysses tore off his rags, and sprang on to the broad pavement with his bow and his quiver full of arrows. He shed the arrows on to the ground at his feet and said, "The mighty contest is at an end. I will now see whether Apollo will vouchsafe it to me to hit another mark which no man has yet hit."

4. Pharmakos/Pharmakon wiki
Walter Burkert and René Girard have written influential modern interpretations of the pharmakos rite. Burkert shows that humans were sacrificed or expelled after being fed well, and, according to some sources, their ashes were scattered to the ocean. This was a purification ritual, a form of societal catharsis.[1]
Pharmakos is also used as a vital term in Derridian deconstruction. In his essay "Plato's Pharmacy",[2] Derrida deconstructs several texts by Plato, such as Phaedrus, and reveals the inter-connection between the word chain pharmakeia-pharmakon-pharmakeus and the notably absent word pharmakos. In doing so, he attacks the boundary between inside and outside, declaring that the outside (pharmakos, never uttered by Plato) is always-already present right behind the inside (pharmakeia-pharmakon-pharmakeus). As a concept, Pharmakos can be said to be related to other Derridian terms such as "trace".
Some scholars have connected the practice of ostracism, in which a prominent politician was exiled from Athens after a vote using pottery pieces, with the pharmakos custom. However, the ostracism exile was only for a fixed time, as opposed to the finality of the pharmakos execution or expulsion.

The term "pharmakos" later became the term "pharmakeus" which refers to "a drug, spell-giving potion, druggist, poisoner, by extension a magician or a sorcerer."[3] A variation of this term is "pharmakon" (φάρμακον) a complex term meaning sacrament, remedy, poison, talisman, cosmetic, perfume or intoxicant.[4] From this, the modern term "pharmacology" emerged.[5]

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Education Of Kings

Chiron Instructs Young Achilles On The Lyre 


Nothing more alive springs forth
Achilles grief, the lyre sings forth
Brings a greater king to me
Than all of Homer's embassy

Open the wider space to me
Cover over destiny
covered, the dead will open more
covered and seen alive!

©2014 Greater Kings stephanie pope
#ohj grief, embassy


1. In the education of Achilles, Achilles is taught the lyre by the centaur, Chiron. The mystery of the lyre itself is in its ability to convey an unseen sight. Wordless interiors blanket the unseen, wider space of the underworld uncovering it.   The unseen sight, the lyre image shows through [or fails in its attempt to show] a man in the manner of his own life breath confronting what in himself lives and is worth living. Not what he chooses but beyond this in what will have been seen and opened in confronting himself is he alive. The language of images speaks without any words having to be spoken. Mythopoetics is that manner of using words letting words use us to convey a breakthrough experience of bigger begetting.

2. Iliad Book I :Opening Lines

Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.

3. Book IX Iliad
Homer’s embassy to Achilles includes Agamemnon who, at the opening to book I clashes and breaks with Achilles. But, here in book IX he attempts to buy back Achilles loyalty all the while believing he is the greater king. Achilles response is to reject the embassy of the Acheans calling the life breath of a man the greater king. But somehow, in the language of Chiron's lyre, the language of image one encounters the greater king.

Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding,
tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions.
But a man’s life breath cannot come back again—
. . .

Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies. . . .

photo credit
Chiron instructs young Achilles on the lyre photo file in publicc domain/Ancient roman fresco Herculaneum, Augusteum (cd. Basilica) National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy (inv. nr. 9109).  References: AA.VV. Ercolano, Tre secoli di scoperte, Electa Napoli 2008, pag. 255-256, nr. 29

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Achilles and Hector Peter Paul Rubens


"Would that I could be as sure of being able to
       cut your flesh into pieces and eat it raw."

                ~Achilles to Hector, Iliad Samuel Butler translation 22:365

the unspeakable hospitality
of angry flesh toward flesh
Achilles fury

©2014 ManEater stephanie pope
#ohj fury, hospitality

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Odysseus With Achilles In The Underworld: A Change Of Heart

Odysseus With Achilles In The Underworld
Attica red-figure vase, ca 480 B.C.


His shade immortal turned toward me
& spoke of Trojan fame
how honor, pride unhappily
carried he by name.

And I stepped back and felt the thought
his shade immortal scrolled
like some fresh, blooding sacrifice
coursing and ensouled.

©2014 A Change Of Heart stephaniepope
#ohj honor, immortal


1. see Homer’s Odyssey Book XI – Nekuia
[465] …and there came up the spirit of Achilles, son of Peleus…
I made answer and said:`Achilles, son of Peleus, far the mightiest of the Achaeans, I came through need of Teiresias, if haply he would tell me some plan whereby I might reach rugged Ithaca. For not yet have I come near to the land of Achaea, nor have I as yet set foot on my own country, but am ever suffering woes; whereas than thou, Achilles, no man aforetime was more blessed nor shall ever be hereafter. For of old, when thou wast alive, we Argives honored thee even as the gods, and now that thou art here, thou rulest mightily among the dead. Wherefore grieve not at all that thou art dead, Achilles.’
[486] “So I spoke, and he straightway made answer and said: `Nay, seek not to speak soothingly to me of death, glorious Odysseus. I should choose, so I might live on earth, to serve as the hireling of another, of some portionless man whose livelihood was but small, rather than to be lord over all the dead that have perished.

photo credit

The embassy of Odysseus (on the left) to Achilles (sitting, on the right). Side B from an Attic red-figure pelike by the Tyszkiewicz Painter, ca. 480 BC. From Cerveteri. Stored in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco of the Villa Giulia.

Monday, July 7, 2014



A cannibal rally
the social tie
a Tantalus meal

all-knowing & god-knowing knowing
how gods do feed one with another
taking the one bite

but the poet's ambrosia is depth
& Pindar's habit
for growing stories

©2014 Homer's Cannibal, stephanie pope
#ohj rally, cannibal


1. Just as we today suggest the bible is an inspired text and mean the writing is god-inspired so too, are considered inspired certain texts of other cultures. Inspired texts from the Greek classical period include Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days, Homer's epic poetry, Iliad and Odyssey and Pindar's odes.  Such texts are considered sacred stories or god-inspired story.

2. In Ceremony (and speaking to the powerful forces at work in storytelling and the sacral nature of stories), Leslie Marmon Silko suggests the principle of femininity, in weaving light and dark aspects into our stories, "knows" the only cure for what ails the social tie...

What she said:

The only cure
I know
is a good ceremony,
that's what she said.

This might suggest the hidden ambrosia carried in the belly of stories and the belly work at work in an unfolding story's embodiments.

3. Pindar's habit /In his poems Pindar's telling will digress in order to break with the myth to reject it or alter it in some way. It is suggested such passages "have rhetorical purpose...introducing subject-matter which has to be avoided for reason of religious propriety and encomiastic suitability." see American Journal of Philology vol. 109, no. 1, Spring, 1988, "A Pindaric Feature In The Poems of Callimachus." 

Sunday, July 6, 2014



In fame, fabula
at the onslaught, the whole story.

©2014 Pheme stephanie pope
#ohj onslaught, fame


Since it is often impossible to trace hearsay to its source, it is said to come from Zeus, and hence Pheme-Ossa is called  “messenger of Zeus”
(Hom. Od. i. 282, ii. 216, xxiv. 412, Il. ii. 93).

(Oed. Tyr.158) calls her a daughter of Hope, and the poets, both Greek and Latin, have indulged in various imaginary descriptions of this daimon. Latin, Fama (Hes. Op. et Dies. 705, &c.; Virg. Aen. iv. 174, &c.; Ov. Met. xii. 39, &c.).

At Athens Pheme-Ossa is honoured with an altar.
(Paus. i. 17. § 1.)

Saturday, July 5, 2014




In slumber soul wanders
the entire life of culture
chases Helen drawn out
like a Trojan to Troy or ships

In slumber through layers
of interior's meaning, a thought
largely mysterious, wanders
in thread oddly Homeric or stories

#ohj, wander, Trojan
©2014 Walking Helen, stephanie pope


A micropoem version of this poem:

In slumber soul wanders
chases Helen
like a Trojan to Troy.

©2014 Walking Helen, stephanie pope
published on twitter under the hashtag mythopoetics (#mythopoetics) on July 5, 2014