Tag Archive: writing


New Blog

In the interest of keeping this blog in devotion to Apollo, I’ve started a new one for other, mostly religious sort of writing, including the development of a few writing projects that I have in mind. So, if it should interest you, please check out and feel free to add Presque Vu.

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Site Update!

Spent some time today adding my religious poetry, hymns, prayers etc to this site. You can find it here. This includes a page for Apollo, one for other Hellenic gods, and one for non-Hellenic and non-specific gods.

Still a bit under construction, a few thigns need to be tweaked a bit, but other than some minor editsit’s as I want it for now.

Insufficient

To look upon the face of a god,
that is the great mystery,
to fall into such a vision…
to be fixed by the immortal gaze…

Were it that I could paint as I wanted,
I could show you the god who wields
a bow of fire to rain down razor-arrows
from the heavens,
whose touch burns as it heals and whose
sight is second to none.

Whose voice is menacing silk
to the ears of his follower,
uttering terrible prophecy and tossing out
impossible riddles as casually as one
might mention the weather.

And I could show you a god who shines, blinding,
and smolders darkly at once:
The ancient face of youth, perfected and placed on a pedestal
Who grieves as though the world were to end
and meets petty insults with death.

I could show you the god of gold
who dwells in a temple of crystal
perched precariously on a mountain of ice
high above the world.
The wolf and the swan, both,
heed when he speaks- he is one of them
their forms are his forms too.

And there are his eyes, a color you cannot see to name,
whose gaze you cannot meet- or cannot remember meeting-
shadows behind the light,
in the eyes which cannot be met, here he holds all the secrets,
the answers to all questions never asked.

If I could paint as I want,
I could show you every flippant proclamation,
every blatant riddle,
each death, and life preserved,
each wound healed;
the blinding darkness, the obscured light,
the burning touch of his flame-covered hands.

But I cannot paint in blood or fire,
cannot draw with crystal or death.
No canvas vast enough exists
to contain such beauty and terror
and rage and grief, such feeling, as his.
So this will have to do.

I must apologize:
it will never suffice.

(This was inspired mostly by my own ideas, but also a bit by the few decent depictions I could find when browsing around on deviantArt.)

Poetic Ambitions….

Though only a handful seem to be widely known (Daphne, Khyparissos, Hyakinthos and a few others), Apollo is a god of many loves, some of whom are only ever given a single line or two in any of the ancient writings.

I was thinking it might be interesting to see how many of these have enough material to retall a story, or perhaps to even speculate a story for the purposes of poetry. This, I think, could be an interesting project. Would make a great book if there was enough material.

Oooh, now I have ideas.

How could I not have loved the beautiful god
whose hair and skin are like gold
and whose eyes burn a cool fire?

He spoke to me in a voice so sweet,
words flowed from his tongue like silk.
And the songs he sang, so lovely, surely the Muses
must weep at their beauty.

(And a few, I think, would elicit a blush
even from Erato herself, though this is never mentioned
in the stories they tell of a god such as He.
It wouldn’t be proper.)

And when he desired for me to come with him to his bed,
he promised me no great gifts of unerring prophecy or any
dazzling trinkets that gods may offer in the moment of seduction,
but I had no care for these anyway;
He but asked and I went willing, for a song,
for one night that has burned itself on my soul.

In time I found that one night had left its mark
upon more than my soul, and soon I was to have a child.
A son I would have loved, but for shame cannot keep.
If I told, none would believe that he was
begotten by a god.

Four days past, in a hidden thicket I lay,
pangs of the birth like no pain I’ve ever felt before.
He sent to my side help, the birth-goddess and the Fates.
When it ended, I cried in relief, and I cried in joy, short-lived
and love for the child, so small,  now in my arms.

It is with great anguish I chose to do this thing.
I don’t know how I will live with it, I’ll worry about that later.
If I think twice now, I’ll turn back.

In this field of violets, surrounded by honeybees, I’ll lay him down.
I’ll walk away, and I won’t look back.
No doubt he will perish, but I will pray for a miracle and try to forget
this child of mine and of the god of light.

One night that has burned itself upon my soul
Now has torn my heart in two.

(If you read my previous post, you know that I have not told the entire story here. Also, if you haven’t figured out, I’ve taken some reasonable artistic license and fabricated some detail. This is a departure from my normal writings,but I think I will be trying this sort of thign again in the future.)

I give you Evadne (As told by Pindar, that is. My poem is still in progress.) Now that I’ve found the Pindaric ode I was looking for, which seems to be the main source of this myth, aside from a tiny handful of much shorter references, I can finish and post it. In my search, I did find a rather interesting article of some linguistic analysis of this ode. (Unfortunately, this analysis comes in the form of a PDF article from JSTOR, which I’ve no license to distribute to the public.)

But now, for your reading pleasure, one of the not-so-well-known myths into which Apollo figures:

Pindar, Olympian Ode 6. 28 – 73 (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :

“Today must we begone beside Eurotas’ stream, to journey . . . to Pitane. She [Pitane, eponym of the town], so they tell, was loved of great Poseidon, son of Kronos, and bore the babe Euadne, child of the crown of violet tresses, hiding the pains of maiden motherhood beneath her robe. But when the month was come of labour’s term, she sent her handmaids and bade them give the child for watch and ward to Eilatos’ hero son [Aipytos] at Phaisana, who ruled in Arkadia, and dwelt by Alpheios’ stream. There was the young babe nursed and grown, and by Apollon’s love first knew the touch of Aphrodite’s joy.

Yet could she not from Aipytos keep hidden through all her time the divine seed she bore. And he, struggling in bitter strain to hold within his heart a wrath unbearable, to Pytho straight departed, to seek a ruling of the oracle for this most grievous woe. But she laid by beneath a thicket’s shade her silvered urn, and she let fall her crimson girdle and bore a son, inspired of heaven. And to serve at her side Apollon, god of the golden locks, sent Eileithyia the kindly goddess, and the Moira (Fates) divine.

And from her body’s travail and the pains that were but sweet delight, was born Iamos, sped forth to the bright light of day. And she in her soul’s anguish left the babe there on the ground. But by the will of heaven there came to nourish him, with gentle care, the sweet and harmless venom of the bees.

Then came the king [Aipytos], riding in haste from rocky Pytho, and from all the household demanded of the child Euadne bore, saying he was begotten of Phoibos [Apollon], and should be beyond all others a peerless prophet for the race of man, and that his seed should last for ever. So he declared it to them. But all vowed they had not heard nor seen aught of the babe, the five days of his infant being. For in a deep brake had he lain concealed, a pathless waste, and o’er his tender limbs flowers of gold and purple splendour, pansies [i.e. violets, Greek ia] shed their rays upon him; thence was it his mother for all time proclaimed that he be called of men Iamos, this his immortal name.

And when he won youth’s joyous fruit, fair Hebe’s gleaming crown, he went to the midwaters down of Alpheios’ stream, and called aloud to the god of far-spreading might, Poseidon, his ancestor, and to the archer god ruler of heaven-built Delos, and this prayer he spoke, at night, beneath the starlit sky : that on his brow be laid the honour to be the shepherd of his people. Brief and clear called his father’s voice, answering `Rise my son, hence to the place where all men meet, bearing my bidden word.’

And they came to the lofty rock, where rules the high-throned son of Kronos [i.e. Zeus at Olympia]. There he gave him of the seer’s art this twofold treasure; first that he hear the voice that knows no lie; and when that Herakles, brave heart and hand, revered son of Alkides’ seed, should come to establish to his father’s name the feast where many a countless foot shall tread, with the ordinance of games and contests greatest of all [i.e. the Olympic Games], then shall the second honour, his oracle, high on the supreme altar of Zeus be set. Thus he ordained.

Thenceforth for all the sons of Iamos’ seed [i.e. the Iamides] through all Hellas their race holds high renown; and fortune’s day attended them; to deeds of noble grace paying due honour they tread their way of light.”

…working on a few things. At the moment, I think I have a good bit going on a poem that I had originally started about a year ago based on the myth of Evadne (Before you comment just to let me know, I am well aware that as I write this, the link isn’t working right now. It seems that Theoi.com is having some issues. But fear not, I am sure it will return soon. Just keep checking from time to time)

It’s one of the more obscure myths, and unfortunately, I can’t find anyhitng more than a one-line summary anywhere else, so I can’t look up some of the details that I want to check out right now. (I’m waiting for an article from JSTOR that might help with some bits, but I’m not holding my breath.)

I may post the first iteration before I can look up the details, not sure yet. Probably will depend on how long it takes to get my needed research done.

On writing about Apollo…

I originally posted this to my LiveJournal, where someone asked me to write about Apollo in response to a meme.  Since it’s relevant, I also posted it here.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t really know how to write about Apollo in a way that even begins to do Him any sort of justice. Every time I try, I grow stronger in the belief that human language is just not sufficient. How do you explain infinity? How do you describe the brightest light you’ve ever seen, the most beautiful sight to ever reach your eyes or the greatest terror you’ve ever known? And how can you explain that yes, it is okay- even advisable- to place your trust in the source of that terror?

I can always start to write about him, but after a few sentences or a short paragraph, I can’t continue. Why? there is plenty to write about…that’s the problem, there is so much to write about, so much that can be said, but I can never really say it. The thoughts which, in my head were perfectly fine, become imprecise, faulty and unbeautiful when they see the light of the page or screen.

At best, I can reasonably write about my own feelings. This is probably why I write so much in the way of poetry about him, and why it tends to be so personal, because even if I can’t quite get the exact word, I can find something close enough. Whereas with Apollo himself, thre is no such thing as “close enough”.

Believe me, I am trying to find a way, because I would really love to write a book about him.

Annoying Roadblock

I really hate being sick, and what’s the worst about it for me this time around is that it’s been a roadblock in my figuring out some things in the last week or so, spiritually

In my meditation attempt last night, I actually managed to get my brain to a place I wanted to be..but when I did I quickly drifted off to completely unrelated things. curiously enough, as soon as I realized this and tried to get back on focus, I felt a hand holding mine. My immediate conclusion was that it was my girlfriend, that she must have taken my hand at that moment, it felt that concrete and solid. But she was asleep in the bedroom, I was in our temple room. As soon as it looked like I was actually getting into something relevant was when I started hacking my brains out. Go figure. However, it looks like that is going to be a priority once this cold passes. i just want it gone. I’ve had a cough and a stuffed up nose and sometimes a sore throat (from the coughing) for nearly two weeks now. So far tonight, my coughing has been minimal. This is a good sign since the worst coughing has been at night. I would really like to be able to try to work on this over the next weekend, and the directive was that I come to him again when I’m better. I’ve also had an offer of a third party seeing if they could pick up any insight, which is appreciated.

In the meantime, I’ve been given inspiration to write some poetry, so I will be working on that. it will be mostly very personal, though a few months back I started writing something based on the myth of Evadne, if I can find it, I will probably pick that back up. It’s not the sort of myth that generally interests me but at the time I had read it and a beginning that I really liked leaped to mind so I wrote it down. If I can’t find it again, hopefully I can at least remember the gist of it.

The other little detail that dropped from above, it seems that it would behoove me to become more consistent in my ritual structure.

A little progress…

Two posts ago, I explained the origin of my blog’s name, which comes from the beginnings of an essay that I started months ago. in the last week, I’ve made a little (very little) progress on that, so here is what I have so far:

I know Apollo as a highly complex god with more layers than I will ever imagine. He is a god with solar connections, but he is not god of the sun. He is not civilized- that is a human concept, he is a god, and you will never forget that he is a god. He is beautiful and perfect in ways that can only be glimpsed in brilliant fractions of a second at a time, so vast, like the moment when it suddenly dawns on you for an instant just how big infinity really is.

He is a god of many lights. He is a warm golden glow of safety and joy. He is the brightest light, which casts the darkest shadow. He is the light that shines into the dark: He is the light of truth and truth is often painful. The absolute light that leaves no crevice in shadow. In the light that drowns out all shadow, there is only truth. It’s the cold, cruel, surgical light which allows no room for denial. It hurts. Often unbearably- healing does not come easily, and there is no exception when it is granted by Apollo. But after it hurts, it heals. When it heals, there is the memory of pain and light.

Apollo is a god of binary oppositions. The face of a coin cannot exist without its reverse. He is a god of health and plague, of light and dark, of creation and destruction. Through Apollo, I have experienced some of those oppositions first had: when healing is painful, pain is healing. The deepest dark is found in the brightest light, the brightest light in the deepest dark and the most profoundly powerful place means being tied up, helpless and delirious.

Slowly, the words come to me. Describing Him from where I stand is no easy task. Human language is simply not sufficient, I am making do as best as I can.

Why ‘Pain and Light’?

This comes from an essay that I started writing some months back. One that I hope to finish. Someday. It’s about Apollo and my understanding of him, and has been amazingly difficult to write. I can talk forever about Him. Writing about it is another story.

Here’s what I have to date:

I know Apollo as a highly complex god with more layers than I will ever imagine. He is a god with solar connections, but he is not god of the sun. He is not civilized- that is a human concept, he is a god, and you will never forget that he is a god. He is beautiful and perfect in ways that can only be glimpsed in brilliant fractions of a second at a time, so vast, like the moment when it suddenly dawns on you for an instant just how big infinity really is.

He is a god of many lights. He is a warm golden glow of safety and joy. He is the brightest light, which casts the darkest shadow. He is the light that shines into the dark: He is the light of truth and truth is often painful. The absolute light that leaves no crevice in shadow. In the light that drowns out all shadow, there is only truth. It’s the cold, cruel, surgical light which allows no room for denial. It hurts. Often unbearably. But after it hurts, it heals. When it heals, there is the memory of pain and light.

The farther I go, the more memories I have of pain and light. These two ideas, the pain and the light, are critical and central to my relationship with Apollo. This I will discuss in more depth as time goes on. He has been a presence in my life for several years now and I’m only just barely starting to figure it out…