The Ferryman  

intierzha 45M
311 posts
4/7/2006 1:24 am

Last Read:
11/29/2006 10:07 pm

The Ferryman


I suppose I am moderately interested in Greek mythos as understanding it helps one understand Greek History. In some ways, it helps one understand later times given the influence of Greek thought on our lives and our psyche. Part of this poem was inspired by reading a book called 'Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter' by Thomas Cahill (whose other books in this series are just as good) and by the quote from The Odyssey that begins the poem. So what follows is a journey of a sort, my own interpretation of this Greek mythos and how it has affected me.

'The Ferryman'

'I should rather labor as another's servant, in the home of a man without fortune, than rule over all the departed dead.' --- Achilles,The Odyssey

Staring into me with those hollow eyes,
Expectant, and waiting as he has always done...

Mired amid this quiet shore
Peering into mists of forms eons gone,
I longed to hear immortal words
Echo across tepid waters,
Calm,
Yet a barrier so enduring
Few have escaped its solemn grasp.

Sensing reservation within my spirit,
Indifferent, though patient as he has ever been...

Struck by such empty desolation
Unable to call to those I sought,
I yearned for a glimpse of a noble face
Breaking through unyielding night,
Bleak,
But filled with a promise so fleeting
Few have buried its enduring pain.

Knowing the agony all men feel,
Impartial, and waiting for me...

Resigned yet with some trepidation
Glancing toward all I had known,
I returned my gaze to the unmoving Ferryman
Constant since time immemorial,
Silent,
Yet a will so imposing
I always understood what had to be.

Staring into me with those hollow eyes,
I placed the coin in Charon's hand...

C.

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