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Final Bows—Medea at Corinth

Tomorrow they will call me a monster,
among harsher titles, between prayers and vows
for vengeance. Once they put out the final fire,

they will leave you to bury charred Creusa and her father
beside our two sons. But while I have you here now,
think of tomorrow. Calling me monster

won’t stop this. I still hear my brother
pleading, Jason doesn’t love; he lusts for power
and vengeance. Once you’ve put out the fire

in his loins, he’ll already be seeking a new lover—

I cut him off, then, with a few well-placed blows.
They’ve called me a killer and a whore

across the Aegean, from that first murder
to this last. There’s much to be said, you know,
for vengeance; I recognized the fire

in your heart as fabricated the day you kissed her
in the middle of the street. But it’s time for final bows,
my love: Tomorrow they will call me a monster
of vengeance—if they can put out this final fire.
3rd of 5 final drafts submitted in my first portfolio for Poetry Workshop.
orion-mk3 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
Ah. Medea. Along with the wives who withheld you-know-what from their husbands and Sappho, she's one of the most highly-regarded Hellenic female figures.

Your interpretation of her character here preserves the style I've noticed in each of this series of poems, but it doesn't seem to work as well here. Perhaps this is because Medea is a more distant historical figure, but the conversational cadence from the other pieces seems to be missing.

On the other hand, this piece is clearer than the others, with a sense of character that transcends impressions based on the language. I guess that makes it a tradeoff of sorts; still, an enjoyable piece.
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
I'd just like to say, you leave really FABULOUS comments--it's clear that you really read each piece thoroughly, and have an extremely intelligent outlook on things. I really appreciate that.

Medea is someone with whom I've always identified, and for whom I've always felt deeply. Speaking from her voice is almost natural--this isn't the first time I've used her as inspiration for writing--but it's difficult as well, because I try to include a lot of the story for readers who don't know as much about her as I do. So I feel like part of her voice was lost in trying to make sure my readers weren't. Plus, yeah, villanelles are a bitch to write. :D
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Submitted on
February 25, 2007
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