Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Poem: To the Sphinx

I've been working on this one for almost ten years.  I think it's close to getting there.

Here's the first two stanzas:

Sphinx, you ask questions that ring the nerve-cell,
while you squat at brown crossroads and sound our                     death knell.
What walks on four legs, two legs, three?  Tell.
King Oedipus and I know conundrums as well. 
While you squat at brown crossroads and sound our                     death knell,
we have crossroads and riddles to crack open your brain.
King Oedipus and I know conundrums as well.
Why Jocasta, why Laius?  Why the Theban plague?

Feel free to give feedback.  Useless bonus points if you know what poetic form that is.

This poem began life rather formless, kind of scattered, then drew back in, started to arrange itself.  Dropped some words, added others. Got a form, started to rhyme.  It's so awing, these poems have a life of their own.

I have been very, very productive with poems of late.  Now to send them out, to find homes for them.

Sandara of deviantART, Sphinx's Day Off, source



  1. I really like it! Its an interesting dialogue, I'm intrigued to know who your narrator is :)

    I'm not very informed about reminds me of a villanelle (I think thats the one where lines are repeated in different places) but I don't think it has the right number of lines? Haha, I really want to know now! (half a bonus point for effort?!)

    I'm not sure if I'm really the right person to give feedback, but the only thing that stood out is the stress pattern in the line 'we have crossroads and riddles to crack open your brain.' I think it has an extra syllable compared to the other lines, so trips up the metre slightly.

    Good luck finding it a home xx

    1. It's a pantoum (I hope?). I've made adjustments to that line, and the Jocasta-Laius one as well. Thanks for your feedback! It has certainly helped.


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