“Orpheus and Eurydice”, for Open Link Night at dversepoets.com




Hear my rendering of an oft-told tale

(mixed with a leavening of Bullfinch)

Composed in view of Orpheus’

Lyre in the Cosmos.


Orpheus, son of Apollo and Calliope

(I forget Eurydice’s heritage)

Was to be blessed by Hymen.


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.


But Fate conspired with happiness.

Eurydice, chased by Aristaeus

Was raped.

She died a broken, bloody death

On the end of Aristaeus’…. sword.


Fast did Orpheus descend to those Stygian depths!

His tones pleaded for the return of his Eurydice.


Sisyphus sat on his rock to listen,

Ixion’s wheel stood still

And the Furies eyes now wet with tears.


Ah! The Underworld turned upside down.


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, 2016










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37 Responses to ““Orpheus and Eurydice”, for Open Link Night at dversepoets.com”

  1. petrujviljoen Says:

    Lovely poem Jane. One glance – reminds of Lot’s wife too, about whom I read a feminist critique some time ago now. It’s natural to look back, and sometimes necessary. To be punished so for such a natural instinct!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Yup. To be punished for such a natural instinct. And Lot’s wife, too. Thank you, Petru, for reading and your enlightening comment.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    That last glance, to never look back… it also reminds of the wife of Lot… there is something of the old myths telling us something about that glance isn’t it?


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yes. A map for survival perhaps. Thank you, Bjorn.


  5. scotthastiepoet Says:

    Terrific close here Jane and relate very much to how you turn things on their head here – fresh insights.. Which is always what the best of writing is about…


  6. charliezero1.wordpress.com Says:

    Your choice of wordage is impeccable and wonderfully painted.

    These lines got me:

    “He brought no happy omens.

    His torch smoked, drew tears.

    Flowers wilted,

    Gods and Goddesses coughed and sputtered.”

    The myth of long ago draw to me a lot of surrealistic moments of tragedy and its survival of things happening at the time.

    Beautifully well penned. 🙂


  7. hayesspencer Says:

    Ahhh, but you know there is a reason we are not to look back! Whether it is a “natural” response or not. We are told not to look back and that means…don’t look back. I like what you did with the myth here Jane. My husband read this to me and I so enjoyed it.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Toni. And pray your eyes get better soon.



  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Charlie. Myths open themselves to eons ago and full, ripe with lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Scotthastiepoet. I went on to do other renditions of myths, but this one remains my favorite.
    Thank you for reading and your comment.


  11. qbit Says:

    Great last lines!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Grace Says:

    Love the retelling and superb closing lines Jane ~

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bodhirose Says:

    I like your spin on the myths that you choose to “revamp,” Jane. Much of mythology I am unfamiliar with but I enjoy learning through your eyes…and pen. Hope all is well and good in your part of the world. And, no more hurricanes! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi, Sweetheart! Things are recovering, except for the houses and the streets where huge ancient trees fell. Well, we learn together. I fall in and out of love with mythology. I’ve been so wrapped up in 16th century Japanese customs, myths and behaviors for a while that anything else seems like a vacation. LOL! Thank you, Gayle . And no more hurricanes!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace. and thank you for reading and sending a comment.


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Qbit.


  17. Nan Mykel Says:

    You must be extremely well versed in mythology to cover such a broad swath. Is there humor in it or is just my imagination?


  18. Bodhirose Says:

    It’s tough to see the stately (or maybe not so stately) ancient oaks and others fall after such long lives. But everything has an ending and some go by way of hurricane. Not me, I hope! xo


  19. kim881 Says:

    A fresh interpretation of an ancient story, Jane! I love the lines:
    ‘He brought no happy omens.
    His torch smoked, drew tears.
    Flowers wilted,
    Gods and Goddesses coughed and sputtered’
    In both love and death-
    It only takes one glance’.


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Kim. This was a lot of fun and I appreciate those who read this interpretation.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ladynyo Says:

    No, not you, I hope! xox


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Me, versed? LOL! Well, I used to read some of it…mostly Celtic, Greek, certainly Japanese…some German, but I wouldn’t say my brain pan has retained much of it. I have a couple of copies of Bullfinch and a few others, classical writers, around here, but my eyes have been taken off most of these myths…except the Japanese for a novel that I finished last night. took 10 years of research and writing. LOL!
    Thank you, Nan. And if you see humor, I believe it’s all in the eyes of the reader! And humor helps all pieces of writing I believe. Goes down better.


  23. paul scribbles Says:

    Just one look either way is so pereptive…and so true. Myths or no that look can be a game changer.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. paul scribbles Says:

    perceptive obvs!!!Doh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thank you, Paul.


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, a ticket to Heaven or Hell.


  27. frankjtassone Says:

    Oh, the haiku at the end alone! Thank you!


  28. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you. Thank you for reading and your comment.’

    Lady Nyo

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sue Anderson Says:

    What a gift you have, not only for retelling but for rethinking these myths. Wonderful.


  30. Alwi Shatry Says:

    “Here’s the deal. Walk out of Hell

    And don’t look back”. We would do well to take heed.


  31. sreeja Harikrishnan Says:

    It’s always interesting to read about myths… Loved this…Sometimes,

    In both love and death-

    It only takes one glance.


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you.


  33. ladynyo Says:

    Yes, we would!
    Thank you for reading.


  34. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sue. I wish I had more time in life to go back to these myths. They enrich us in so many ways.
    Thank you for reading and your comment.


  35. Frank Hubeny Says:

    I vaguely remember the story and what I remember mostly comes from Black Orpheus. I wonder why she looked back? Nice retelling of the story with an emphasis on that “one glance” for love and death.


  36. ladynyo Says:

    Well, he looks back. As I read it.
    Thanks, Frank.


  37. charliezero1.wordpress.com Says:

    You welcome, Ladynyo.

    Your poetic is always refreshing and have lots of perspectives. 🙂


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