Medea’s testimony at her trial

“the children are dead”:—

they were called desire and love.
it wasn’t revenge. it was freedom.

the alchemy of golden fleece is such
that all that turns into gold (&blood),
can also become a bitter, battering
concoction of carbon and sulphate
that are coated on my bosom, that
nourished the progeny of my sacrifice.

i am not spiteful. i am enraged like eyes
of a broken china doll, like the spit in
the fire, like the fever that has banished
you to bed. i am a scarlet red, a sorceress,
a demanding muse of open seams, stitches
&sudden seizures. how can i ever handle
this juggernaut of social relations?—
media monsters, movie marauders,
these Colchian dragons and fruits of
crimes of passion, my need for rebellion.

my serpentine journey back to my start
should not be taken as my loss or suicide,
i reach back into my psyche (foxglove
memories, apple armories, dreams of Circe)
to seek what is my own — i look for a home
to live, where my solitude can be permanent,
and my shoes big enough to carry my swollen
fates. i do not believe in sun-derived faiths.

the heliocentric space cannot accommodate me.

Medea — this is the coronet of a life, non-binary,
non-conforming, non-resisting, reticent, regent,
relapsing to the rosary of nocturne herbs&remedies.

i am godly, i am ghastly, a gargantuan figure of
your vile disgrace — fuck Euripides — i do not
need your malaise, none of your magnanimity.

.
© Anmol Arora

For my prompt, ‘On Myths & Legends‘, at dVerse, where I have asked the poets to reimagine popular myths & legends and write a poem about the same through a new tangent or perspective. Do come and participate!
Also linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where Sanaa is hosting this week while also posing an optional challenge for the Poetry Month.

Day 23
(Inter)National Poetry Month

28 thoughts on “Medea’s testimony at her trial

  1. S says:

    “it wasn’t revenge. it was freedom.”

    “like the fever that has banished
    you to bed. i am a scarlet red, a sorceress”

    “i reach back into my psyche (foxglove”

    “i look for a home
    to live, where my solitude can be permanent”

    “relapsing to the rosary of nocturne herbs&remedies”

    ~Outstanding.

    Like

  2. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES says:

    I’m swimming in the images your words have conjured. I especially like the stanza with the demanding muse of open seams, stitches and sudden seizures.

    Like

  3. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    Pure Rommy-bait, from those outstanding three lines to the mythological motif reworked into a powerful narrative, wholly relevant to our times. Hells yes Medea, I see you and your rage.

    Like

  4. sanaarizvi says:

    My goodness this is good! You have put such a palpable and sombre twist on Medea’s mythological tale, “i look for a home to live, where my solitude can be permanent, and my shoes big enough to carry my swollen fates. i do not believe in sun-derived faiths,” … yess I can feel her burning determination and rage!

    Like

  5. I recently read Circe by Madeline Miller and reread The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood… The spirit of this poem, the voice that rages through its lines, bring to mind those books–so much power in it all, so much of what makes mythology relevant: it’s alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I need to go wash, this was a really bad woman, my body didn’t like hearing all that. We attended a musical play Saturday evening, one stage they (simulated) the clubbing and stomping to death of a woman. The people who gave us the tickets couldn’t go but I’m glad they didn’t. They had three, one for their 10-year-old daughter, that would have done to her what “Medea’s” testimony did to your writer.
    ..

    Like

  7. That is an effective and suitably dramatic opening line, Anmol! I like the voice you have given Medea and the language. She’s oxymoronic, in the sense that she is ‘…enraged like eyes
    of a broken china doll, like the spit in
    the fire, like the fever that has banished
    you to bed. i am a scarlet red, a sorceress,
    a demanding muse of open seams, stitches
    &sudden seizures’
    While at the same time socially awkward:
    ‘… how can i ever handle
    this juggernaut of social relations?’

    I love the ‘foxglove memories, apple armories, dreams of Circe’ and the ‘shoes big enough to carry [my] swollen fates’.

    I have especially enjoyed this poem because I’ve almost finished Circe by Madeline Miller, and excellent insight into Greek myths and legends.

    And thank you for the clip of my beloved Patti Smith!

    Like

  8. This is a wonderful take on Medea, her defense speech how it can be after the atrocities she might have done, and even admits to…

    The voice made me think of Carol Ann Duffy who has some awesome poems who would have fitted perfectly to your prompt

    Like

  9. This is an outstanding piece. I do have a sneaking sympathy for Medea – I know what she did was bad, but I can kind of understand that urge to destroy everything that is good. I think you give her a great voice.

    Like

  10. this plea for understanding touches me:
    “i am not spiteful. i am enraged like eyes
    of a broken china doll, like the spit in
    the fire, like the fever that has banished
    you to bed.”

    Like

  11. Thanks for a wonderful prompt! Your piece is so well written, descriptive, emotional and full of fire, yet clear at the same time. There’s no doubt in your piece why Medea did what she did. My favorite line:
    and my shoes big enough to carry my swollen
    fates.

    Like

  12. Susie Clevenger says:

    Mythology spoken like it was a headline story in today’s news. I wonder just how much darker humans can become.

    Like

  13. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Wow, young man, what a grand illustration for your prompt. This becomes a scene in an existential play; reminds me of Sartre.

    Like

  14. This is amazing! I never heard (what Toni says) that she fed her children to their father (ugh!) only that she bashed their brains out (only slightly less ugh). Hearing the great Sybil Thorndike on a visit to Australia declaiming Medea’s speech about killing them (I suppose from, Euripides), I writhed in my seat from the horror of it all and nearly fainted. (I think I was 12; my parents took me for this wonderful night of theatre.) And yet Dame Sybil also conveyed the passionate fury, which you have done too, and left me with some sympathy for Medea, driven mad by a man who used and discarded her. Anyhow, this is a brilliant and powerful poem, which thrilled me. Also I LOVE the Patti Smith clip. (And love Patti Smith, full stop.) She is a compassionate woman, yet would make a great Medea with that ability to summon power and passion.

    Like

  15. Powerful writing. I have a soft spot for Medea though. She healed and restored the sick and dying to please Jason, killed her brother to let him escape, had maybe fourteen children with him and he dumped her. The killing of two of her sons was an afterthought, probably to make her seem wicked. Women getting all the blame again.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Powerful writing–“i am enraged like eyes
    of a broken china doll, like the spit in
    the fire,”
    I like how she told off Euripides–that he constructed a version of her.

    Like

  17. Just Barry says:

    I echo the sentiments already shared. You give a brilliant sympathetic voice to the unthinkable. Exceptional work.

    Like

  18. Sorry to be late with this response. Life!

    I am so impressed with this writing, Ha! The pride, the unabashed — I want to say nobility — of Medea’s words. So so well done!

    Like

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