Iliterate Poet

A dumping ground for my works in progress.

5 May 2011

The Weaver

Young Arachne: Lady, low she lay;
She heard a voice on one fine day;
When Goddess Athena started to say:
"I do take pity on your lowly lot.
I'd like to help you, believe or not.
I want to teach you how to sow.
A priceless gift I will bestow."

Arachne agreed to play her part.
Took the gift of a God given art.
Master weaver she quickly became;
Dreams in seams, none were the same!
Nymphs from far and wide they came;
But she mistook the rules of the game;
Head swollen, in measure with her fame.

They hoped in droves, to derive the prime;
Of how Arachne could spin weaves so fine.
They asked her again, time after time:
"Where did you learn to beautifully design"
Arachne replied, self conceit in her eye:
"Not one taught me to cast my spell;
It was all down me, that is all I shall tell!"

The Nymphs knew Arachne had deceived.
Only one other, which could have so weaved:
Goddess Athena! the nymphs perceived;
And as she sat sadly watching them all;
Athena decided to pay Arachne a call.
Dressed as an old lady; in rickety robes.
Depressed at the path, Arachne had chose.

Athena now in her old woman's disguise;
Tried in vain, to open Arachne's eyes:
"Respect the Gods for they are wise,
Skill and wisdom come with age, not lies."
Arachne angered, was not amused;
Challenged Athena with a mocking shrill:
"Goddess! I propose we pit skill to skill!"

Beneath Athena's old raggedy guise;
Goddess of wisdom and war did rise.
Those that could see, those that were near;
Trembled in fear, bowed down to the skies.
Proud Arachne, stood firm her ground.
Athena picked up the gauntlet and vowed:
"I'll teach you a lesson in front of this crowd!"

Both wanted to win - the spin started in haste.
They worked and weaved at a furious pace.
Beautiful weaves, they both conceived one.
Athena wove about her contest with Poseidon;
In the conquest to name the great City: Athens.
Arachne wove about the Cruelty of the Gods;
Depicting them compromised and at odds.

Athena told the Nymphs to adjudicate;
But not one of them could decide their fate.
Two tapestries so fine, impossible to define;
In their minds, no final winner could be assigned.
It mattered not, how they tried to deliberate;
There was just no way for them to equate;
Even when Athena was becoming irate.

Athena struck Arachne between the eyes!
Arachne immediately cried as she realised:
She should have listened not to her pride.
The newly felt, self-awareness of her arrogance;
Was in an instant flash, all too much to bare.
She tied a knotted rope fast around her neck;
To end of her despair, she swung without a care.

Goddess Athena now high on vengeance;
Sprinkled magic dust upon the dead weaver.
Mighty Athena with pure spite inside her;
Quickly turned Arachne into a spider;
For depicting Gods in a compromised guise.
Poor Arachne dropped a stitch in nine;
When she threaded tapestries beyond the line.

Arachne should have known to be wise;
Her head shrank, no ears nor visible eyes.
Her young slender arms, shrank in size.
She suddenly sprouted legs two by two;
It wasn't very long before eight of them grew!
The very first spider, Arachne became;
Her descendants still weave webs the same.

Beautiful webs that inspire the World;
But never a tapestry to rival the Gods.
Never again will they weave in that way;
Goddess Athena taught them how to play.
Play nicely if you don't wish to pay!
They'll always remember that fateful day;
When Arachne let her arrogance stray.


A wonderfully beautiful poem....
Thank you so much !


Above the valleys and the lakes: beyond
The woods, seas, clouds and mountain-ranges: far
Above the sun, the aethers silver-swanned
With nebulae, and the remotest star,

My spirit! with agility you move
Like a strong swimmer with the seas to fight,
Through the blue vastness furrowing your groove
With an ineffable and male delight.

Far from these foetid marshes, be made pure
In the pure air of the superior sky,
And drink, like some most exquisite liqueur,
The fire that fills the lucid realms on high.

Beyond where cares or boredom hold dominion,
Which charge our fogged existence with their spleen,
Happy is he who with a stalwart pinion
Can seek those fields so shining and serene:

Whose thoughts, like larks, rise on the freshening breeze
Who fans the morning with his tameless wings,
Skims over life, and understands with ease
The speech of flowers and other voiceless things.


— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
A beautifully written poem, and almost parable tale.

Such emotions placed into such stunning verse.

Thank you for creating such a pleasure to read.

"Play nicely, if you don't wish to pay!"

A wonderous poem with so much hidden sense...
This poet will rise high or stay grounded!
No middle ground...
I predict that he will rise very high soon enough...
I love reading poetry about mythology but rarely do I find a poet who can capture me and keep my attention. You do that, always.
I often lose the thread of the narrative when I read a poem about mythology which then discourages me from reading further. Yours, however, are told clearly and beautifully. Thank you for that.

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