Last year we had to write some poetry for a creative writing module and I’m awful at poetry, but we were writing it on mythology which I love. I did mine as a take on the Odyssey: this one’s based on the part where Odysseus and his men ignored a prophecy and ate the cattle of Hyperion, the Sun god- basically Odysseus had been warned by the prophet Tiresias not to do this (as if it was a good idea anyway) or he and his men wouldn’t get back home, and they went ahead and did it anyway, and since I’ve been missing studying mythology and classics and latin and stuff, I thought I’d share my terrible first year poetry attempt with you:

Hyperion’s cattle

How hard was it.

Don’t eat the cattle.”

Teiresias had told them, 

even the goddess Circe.

If they committed this one violation, 

they wouldn’t get back.

It had been said so plainly

I still can’t quite believe they did it.

Back then, oracles and goddesses

all used to blather on at length;

and if you got any meaning from it,

all the better for you.

Yet this time, Circe had stated a singular

clear, concise warning,

four words.

Don’t eat the cattle.”

Even Teiresias, who could’ve 

out-chattered a monkey,

had reined back his blustering,

as if he suspected Odysseus might need him to

(maybe he was a bit simple)

Don’t eat the cattle.”

And this man, this one, great,

foolish, obnoxious legend,

who had to be warned not to eat

a god’s pet cows, 

parroted the warning to the other buffoons, so all would know.

Don’t eat the cattle”. 

All their longing to get home,

the incessant grieving, hand-wringing,

foot-stamping, moaning, groaning,

weeping desire to get back to that crummy rock,

all the immortal, divine provisions they’d been given,

all the dire, hair-on-end warnings, it wasn’t enough. 

For someone to be that foolish, I guess nothing would be.

Guess what.

They ate the cattle.

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