Welcome, digital friends!
This week’s poem employs an allusion to Elpis, the Greek goddess/spirit of hope.
For those not familiar with the myth of Pandora’s box, let’s begin with the fact that in ancient Greek times, this would have likely been a jar. Not a box.
Pandora was the first human woman created by Zeus as a punishment for Prometheus sharing the gift of fire with mankind (which he stole from the gods). Her special wedding “gift” from the gods, when she married Prometheus’s half-brother, was a jar full of “wonders” that was never to be opened. In fact, it was filled with all manner of evil spirits like pain, death, and suffering.
Of course, much like Eve, religious misogyny loves to blame women for insatiable disobedience and curiosity, and, thus, Pandora opens the jar, releasing all the evils onto the world. She seals the jar just in time to contain Elpis (hope).
But why would hope be trapped in a jar of all evil things in the first place?
I believe Hesiod wrote the first recorded version of this myth ~800 BC. The original understanding of Elpis may have been that she was a malevolent spirit of “foreboding,” and by trapping her in the jar, humanity at least did not fully fold to abject fear, destroyed by the dread of all the evils set upon them.
It was Aesop’s happier version of the story several hundred years later that has assigned a more optimistic view of Elpis as what what we have come to understand today as “despite all the evils in the world, hope yet remains.”
I thought it might be fun to share some of the backstory with you, my friends. Adds a little something extra to think about in the context of this poem.
As always, I look very forward to hearing from you. Please let me know your thoughts, feelings, reactions to the poem in the Comments Section below.
-PS Conway ☘️ ☘️ ☘️
☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️
e c h o e s
a broken mind
a shattered heart
fall apart into shards tinkling like glass
echo and echo sharp-edged into silence
in this darkness
in my abandon
dampened from light or the hope of a new day
frail glass crushed ‘neath the heel of melancholy
e c h o e s
your mellifluous song
call to me, take shape, form a star, pale and afar
but present, and the blackness fades a subtle shade
e c h o e s
in this halflight
in my curiosity
lifted lids of caliginosity, soft hands of Elpis
extend to me, and a second star flares to life
a mind less wounded
a heart more auspicious
listen to your delicious healing words, the sweet aria
of love which feeds this new-found universe with light
Outstanding poetry piece! My favorite lines are “your whispers.. fades a subtle shade.” Such promise and vision in those words! I loved it!
So glad you liked it, PS!! Always nice to have a glimmer of hope to hold onto, IMHO. Cheers, my friend. 🙏🏻🌹🍷✨
Well, I’d say this glimmer of hope and new love certainly draws the poet out of a very dark place. I love the repeated ” echoes and echoes”. Nice onomatopiea! I really hope, as I get older, that our minds are not as fragile as glass! Beautiful words Pat.
That may be my fav word ever, Naomi… onomatopoeia… ahh, that’s nice. Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend. 🍷🙏🏻🌹✨
I have read and re-read this inspirational poem, my mind filled with thoughts. I needed time to consider a reply … I feel, to me anyway, that these words relate to a bigger picture. Our world is in chaos, societies broken. War, famine, pandemics and natural disasters have left hearts and minds broken. Pandora’s box opened by those for whom evil enhances power and financial reward.
Hopelessness is contagious, without hope we are doomed. We are at a point where compassion, love for our fellow human beings is essential to pull us back from the edge.
Simply brilliant commentary, Sandie! Wow. Way to speak to the woes and needs of our time! So glad my little poem could inspire such profound thinking. Thank you for honoring and humbling me, my friend. Cheers 🍷🙏🏻🌹✨