Post more comments
Want a gift card for being active Forum member? Post comments and win $25 gift card every week.
Rules:
PoemHunter.com will be giving away Amazon.com gift cards (worth $75 in total) every week to first three members ($25 each) who participate most in our forum discussions. You just have to post comments on forum pages, poet pages or poem pages anywhere inside PoemHunter.com
Comments posted needs to be in different pages. Posting more than 1 comment on the same page will only be counted once.
Members can not post comments without being logged in.
PoemHunter.com has the right to cancel or edit this contest.
PoemHunter.com has a right to disqualify or ban member(s) without providing any type of reason, belief or proof in regards to any type of illegal activity or fraud.

Peter Boyle

(1951 - / Melbourne / Australia)

The Apocrypha Of William O'Shaunessy: Book II, XII


Among the ancients of our people, the Hellenic homeland and its numerous colonies and sister cities, the poet was a figure uniquely admired and deeply feared. It is well known that poems can always be altered by a poet and that therefore the only way to ensure the canonical survival of a given poem is by killing the poet. For this reason poets were reluctant to write poems, let alone complete a poem.

When a poet did know that he had finished a poem of great value he immediately had to leave his home and city, first binding his fellow citizens on solemn oath to change nothing of his poem while he was away. It only remained for him to die in exile – in this way his people would be eternally obliged to preserve his work faithfully.

In Ebtesum an opposite tradition prevailed – that poems should not be preserved but that poets should endlessly invent new poems. Though poets were deeply honoured in the same way as musicians and singers, their specific names were rarely mentioned and, in the books later surreptitiously produced – such as the Black Book of Ebtesum or the Green Book of Ebtesum, ascriptions are not made to individuals. During my own stay in Ebtesum after an evening of extraordinarily moving poetry I made the mistake of thanking and congratulating a poet on his work. As if disturbed while searching bewilderdly among lost shades, his aged face looked far away into great distances. He spoke then in a language I had never heard before yet was able to understand immediately by instinct: “For these words to flow through me,” he said, “it is necessary never to think thoughts like that. Only by eliminating all desire to own, even as much as the name on my grave, can speech bless me and the silent ones allow me into their home.”


(from Theophrastus, Compendium of poetic practices, most likely produced under Theophrastus’ supervision as director of the Lyceum after Aristotle's death and possibly written by Aristotle’s pupil Mendron who had lived many years in Egypt and travelled extensively in diverse realms.)

Submitted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Apocrypha Of William O'Shaunessy: Book II, XII by Peter Boyle )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. emotion sickness, Mandolyn Davidson
  2. Platinum Stars Dripped Love!, LUVinThe NOW
  3. Bliss, David Lessard
  4. My love for you, Leesaan Robertson
  5. Rewrite your Story, Maverick Jones
  6. yeah...., Noah Body
  7. <<<< A Maddening Phase Of A .., Abdul Wahab
  8. What Lies Inside And Out, Shannon Glass
  9. Memories of You, tallulah montegue
  10. untold, Ewa Busayourmi

Poem of the Day

poet Ambrose Bierce

Weather
by Ambrose Bierce

Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

911
by Albert Ahearn

[Hata Bildir]