Poetry (30)


Ariadne’s Heart

He left her on the shore.

Victorious Theseus

Left an ugly Princess

Far from the sadistic

Kingdom of Minos

Where her abomination

Of a bullish brother

Bred fear in the hearts

Of tribute victims.


At night

She lies in the hollow of

A small abandoned vessel,

At the edge of the market

Where she had bought

Wine, olives and meat.


Her sobs swell like the sea,

Her rage not yet as unbridled.

She has quick fingers,

Wisdom, and wit enough for three

But no vengeful misandry-serving

Magic: like the witch, Circe.


Beauty is both a moral quandary

And a currency.


Ariadne hadn’t enough,

For the eyes of Theseus.

How could she compete

For love, or lust

As clever as she was,

With one whose guile

Was a legacy from the gods?


The heartstrings that would have

Joyously played

In the four chambered orchestra

Of her heart

Ache with unsung echoes

But are silent.


Her mind is as labyrinthine

As the construction designed

By the unfortunate Daedalus.

The rough-textured twine

That was his (and her) salvation,

Lies in her fist, at rest,

While the other hand,

For warmth alone,

Cradles her keening breast.


There are skeins and skeins of it.

Inside, her heart is corseted.

Wine-dark, blood-bitter.

Ariadne’s heart is as a being

Delicately mummified

To its waxen eyelashes,

But she has not died.

She has won a strange liberty

By not being Theseus’ bride.


The first time she is loved

By a man,

(And well,)

She will weep.

When curled up with her

Douséd desirer:

Who takes her tongue,

Shudders with pleasure

And knows only her name,

Tastes her tears

And wants her

And wants her again,

She will hold him

And be thankful

And smile.


And with patience and time

The malicious roughness

Of the twine around her

Heart, will unravel.


(© Copyright Pola Negri, 17/01/ 2016)



22 thoughts on “Poetry (30)

  1. Reblogged this on INK AND QUILL and commented:
    Thank you to C M Blackwood, who brought my attention to the marvellous poet Pola. As I read this piece, I was captivated. What a beautiful story. These lines in particular struck me;
    ‘The heartstrings that would have
    Joyously played
    In the four chambered orchestra
    Of her heart
    Ache with unsung echoes
    But are silent.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooooo… I like it! 🙂 Especially “the sobs that swell like the sea”, and the “four chambered orchestra of her heart”! When you mentioned the twine the first time, I thought she was going to commit suicide for some reason, but she didn’t! (Yayyyy! hehe) It’s quite awe-inspiring, and makes me think that Theseus really was an idiot – there’s no other way of explaining it. Also, of course, looking at it through the Medea filter, it’s impossible not to spot the similarities between Theseus and Jason… Both break their oaths to the gods, as far as I remember – and yet, the gods just helped them along! If I’m not mistaken, according to Robert Graves’ interpretation of the myth, Theseus abandoned Ariadne because he couldn’t be seen to be bringing a “foreign” bride back to Athens (Even though, technically speaking, he wasn’t Athenian, but from Troezen -someplace in the Peloponnese).

    Meanwhile, I’ve been reading up on Hercules – the more I read, the more I’m convinced he was a spoilt, brute, idiot as well. When I was a child, I quite admired him (probably because, as a kid, you only get the ‘watered-down’ version of his Labours) but now, I’m just disgusted. Whenever someone pissed him off or just didn’t do what he wanted, he killed them. And yet, he was treated like a hero! Maybe because he was super-strong and super-“godly”, he was also inhumane… I guess having “inhuman” strength comes with a price?


    1. Interesting to know… I just thought she wasn’t considered beautiful enough but diplomatic marriages again I guess. As for Heracles, ‘la brutezza di forte.’ Or you could say H was just the packhorse/odd job man of the gods… but any extraordinary gift comes with a price, right? I mean, I’m sure van Gogh was very partial to his ear if he was being honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that would’ve made sense as well…to be honest, I hadn’t really ever given it much thought until the other day. And yes, I guess you could call H the packhorse of the gods… or even a plaything? Then again, not to defend him, but I find it hard to hate him for being part-human (loving, hating, getting violently angry – these are all human traits). Seems to me you’re right about the price to be paid!


      2. The whole thing with demi-gods is kind of an aspiration thing I think. Their humanity makes them relateable to the Average Iannis – but their feats and ‘powers’ make them epic. Much like how monsters are about human excesses made real, these heroes are excessive in their positive traits but will use them to negative ends. (It’s proving hard to stay away from blogging, a week and a bit of Ramadan left. Will have to catch everyone later I’m afraid!)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, often go trawling through department stores… this was a wood-backed frame with an iron key, I guess for the people that ‘have everything plus a lot of wall space.’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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