26 February 2013

Athena's Line

ATHENA, oil on linen by Sandra M. Stanton 


Under the aegis of the owl, I learned I was Athena’s child.
Mom taught me as she sheared the sheep and spun the yarn to clothe us all.
     Let us start with the Greeks, she said,
     though more ancient ties will emerge:

I oppose Aphrodite—she nature-born of sea foam—I tame
wilderness; I am craft and art.  Born of mankind, I make cities.
     Mom poured libations to creation
     from porcelain pots she threw herself.

Took homespun from her mythic wheel to weave by hand into whole cloth,
Palmed in blue weft for strength, for peace and justice  (strategy—not war),
     Pulled red, white, black and gold for warp
     of industry, design and art.

Added grey for angles of houses, for privacy at day’s end
white for eyes of God fringed in black for beauty, boldness and for depth
     Testimony poured in, brightened
     vanishing points above buildings.

Mother, did you make me yourself , like a basket of twisted reed?
Did you find me floating downstream like the daughter of Pharoah’s dream?
     No, child, wisdom gave birth to you
     as she did me through Zeus’s head.

Athena, guide me today—it is your shield that checks the rain;
Your craft shapes the pen and paper I wield along the way
     where both wisdom and folly play
     my art in words to seize the day. 



Posted for Poetry Pantry # 140  at Poets United.


Copyright © 2013 S.L.Chast
Chosen for book 11/9/2013




10 comments:

Kim Nelson said...

The creator. The ultimate feminine. We are, aren't we?
Terrific rhyme scheme and form. I like your specific references to art... weaving, pottery, drawing.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

This is so good, I loved the second stanza...
I second KIm..... Great!

sreeja harikrishnan said...

This is so good...I loved the second stanza...and I second KIm... Great!

Claudia said...

nice...love how real life and myths interweave...Mother, did you make me yourself , like a basket of twisted reed?
Did you find me floating downstream like the daughter of Pharoah’s dream?....the big questions of life of where we come from and where we go.. really cool write susan

Hannah said...

"Took homespun from her mythic wheel to weave by hand into whole cloth,
Palmed in blue weft for strength, for peace and justice (strategy—not war),
Pulled red, white, black and gold for warp
of industry, design and art."

I love this whole portion!

Great tone and topic to delve into Susan. Very enjoyeable read!

Thank you so much for visiting me, my friend! ♥

Heaven said...

I love the idea of weaving colors in the mythic wheel ~ And that last stanza brought it all together, wisdom and folly ~ We learn through time, which one is which, don't we?

Beautiful words from your pen ~

another-fools-feathers said...

Wonderful write. I'm into mythology and this is a wonderful exploration of how that impacts on our own life and story. I echo the others who have echoed your lines, there's a lot to admire and be inspired by within your poem,

Elizabeth

alan1704 said...

Pulled red, white, black and gold for warp of industry, design and art - Great lines and a magical poem. Flowed really well, i like this

Mary said...

I love the way you wove the classical, mythological into this poem and made it personal.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I have a statue of Athena on my desk, accompanied by one of an owl. :) I enjoyed the poem very much; loved the images of mother teaching daughter