Orpheus and Eurydice, a new poem…..






Hear my rendering of an oft-told tale

(mixed with a leavening of Bullfinch)

Composed in view of Orpheus’

Lyre up in the Cosmos.

Orpheus, son of Apollo and Calliope

(I forget Eurydice’s heritage)

Was to be blessed by Hymen.

Sadly, he brought no happy omens.

His torch smoked, drew tears.

Flowers wilted,

Gods and Goddesses coughed and sputtered.

Orpheus, master of the lyre,

Whose notes melted tiger’s hearts

Made trees uproot and creep near,

Rocks to soften,

Loved his Eurydice.

Fate conspired with happiness.

Eurydice, chased by Aristaeus

Was raped. 

She died a broken, bloody death

On the end of Aristaeus’…. sword.

How fast Orpheus descended those Stygian depths!

His tones pleading for the return of Eurydice.

Sisyphus sat on his rock to listen,

Ixion’s wheel stood still

The Furies eyes now wet with tears.

Eurydice came, 

Garbed in her winding shroud,

fresh with young death.

Here’s  the deal. Walk out of Hell

And don’t look back.

Orpheus! You almost made it!

Eurydice, twice dead, disappears.


In both love and death-

It only takes one glance.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2013


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25 Responses to “Orpheus and Eurydice, a new poem…..”

  1. Laura Hegfield Says:


    In both love and death-

    It only takes one glance.” so true… beautiful as always Jane.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Laura! Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.

    I tried last week to get to your blog, but my computer wouldn’t follow through. This week, I was try anew.

    How is the quilt going? I am so honored to be included in this. And I was grateful to you for doing it again this year. Beautiful, Laura…but then I would expect that of you.

    Love, Jane


  3. Laura Hegfield Says:

    we did it 201 as of this moment… thanks for asking dear Jane. Enjoy that pie:-)


  4. Alex Dissing Says:

    I took a mythology class in high school & I’ve been fascinated ever since. There’s just something about learning important life lessons from those who came before us.


    In both love and death-

    It only takes one glance”

    What a way to end a poem!


  5. brian miller Says:

    very nice retelling in verse jane…
    great close as well…and one look will surely make all the difference in love and death…ha…nice correllation between those two eh? smiles.


  6. Nara Malone Says:

    Oh, wow. It’s a sad story but you tell it so beautifully I couldn’t look away. Love that last stanza.


  7. Victoria C. Slotto Says:

    Oh, wow! You’ve packed it all in here, Jane. The blending of myths culminating in that finale is most effective.


  8. ayala Says:

    Beautiful poem, Jane. Happy Thanksgiving .


  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, ayala….happy thanksgiving to you!



  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Victoria….I did a few a couple of years ago, and they were a bit too erotic to post here, but what the hell.
    I did compose a few that were Wagnerian in theme, but I couldn’t carry over the myths, and they fell to the comic. LOL!

    Thank you, Victoria and for your encouraging comment.



  11. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Nara. I’m still not sure what that last line means…LOL!



  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian….thank you for reading. One glance….well, I am still pondering over what that means and it’s application in life.

    I find that elements so different together on the page can sometimes bring just by inference, something philosophic. Hopefully.
    Thank you.



  13. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Alex. I came to mythology rather later in life, and I wish I had found it earlier. We all grow up with certain cultural myths, but the Greeks hold a foundational place in our mythology, I think.

    Bullfinch, Hamilton, all these earlier writers wrote from a deep seated knowledge of the myths. I believe they were….in many cases, to be moral lessons. Lessons for life and conduct.

    Even if they are imaginary beings, we could do worse.

    Thank you for reading and your encouraging comment.



  14. Tony Maude Says:

    One glance … reminded me of the story of Lot’s wife in the book of Genesis. One glance back at Sodom and she was turned into a pillar of salt.


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Tony, in mythology and I guess the Bible…well, they draw on each other. This ‘one glance’ is prevelent in Japanese literature as well.

    Thanks for reading.



  16. Caliban's Sister Says:

    Love this poem. It reminded me of one line from the Don Henley song “Boys of Summer”–‘don’t look back you can never go back”
    This is one of the most tragic and painful stories in mythology, for me. A double loss. “fresh with young death”–what a gorgeous line.


  17. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Oh, You are so funny! Yep, I know that song….LOL!

    Thank you for reading, CS, and your comment. And a special Happy Thanksgiving from our house!

    Love, Jane


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