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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Pandora's Gift"

This poem came out of the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from clare_dragonfly and fayanora.  It was sponsored from the general fund.  You can read more about Pandora, Ianus, the Moirae, and Persephone online.

Pandora's Gift

She was the pawn of the gods,
given nothing but curiosity and a box,
which led to disaster.

When their children were born,
Pandora's husband gave her the little statues
of two-faced Ianus for their son
and the three Moirae for their daughter,
tiny icons of great Destinies.

Pandora listened to the Destinies
whispered by the Fates,
and decided to do something else.

She put the icons in a mortar and pestle
and ground them all to gravel.
She poured the gravel into a jar
and sealed the lid with lead,
then buried it in the ground.

When her children were grown,
they came to her and asked for their Destinies.
Then Pandora told them about the jar.
Her daughter wept and wailed.
Her son swore and stormed away.

When Pandora died,
her shade traveled to Hades
and its great gates were locked behind her.
At last she stood before Persephone,
Queen of the Underworld.

Persephone quirked her pale lips
and said, "Ah, Pandora.
I have heard so much about you.
Your children would curse your shade to Tartarus
for all the trouble you have given them.
They blame you for the loss of their Destinies."

"I care not," said Pandora.
"I gave them something better."

"What might that be?"
asked Persephone.

"Freedom," said Pandora,
and opened her hand to reveal
a tiny golden lockpick.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: January 8th, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, ooh! I love it! I've always had a similar attitude about destiny, so this really speaks to me. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 8th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear this. In Greek mythology, Destiny is unavoidable and often negative. I can see how Pandora would want to ditch it. But there are always those folks who are sure they'd get the prize ...
siege From: siege Date: January 8th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Great destinies so often lead to great destruction.
3 comments or Leave a comment