A Home For Daphne 1 - The Season Of Love Poem by UNNIKRISHNAN Sivasankara Menon

A Home For Daphne 1 - The Season Of Love

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He called her Daphne
And she called him Apollo
Black Throated Weaver Birds
And they were in love.

It was harvesting season and for them the season of love
He made on a tall coconut tree a beautiful nest
That hung from the palm leaf dancing like in a rocky bay a cove
Everyone said in the whole valley, it's the best.

He had forbidden her from coming
Anywhere near the nest until upcoming,
For he wanted to build the nest all alone
And surprise her as best in the whole valley.

Once the work was done, the nest glowed in the envy of all,
He set out to invite her to her new home
Where they will have their honeymoon
And then rear their babies, so he dreamed.

He carried in his bills a barley spike
Specially selected by him for her
As his wedding gift, which she accepted
And to their nest, they flew back together.

Reaching back on the tall coconut tree
He could not locate his nest on its long spread of leaves,
He thought he looked on the wrong tree
He searched tree after tree, with Daphne in tow, in vain.

Al last, desperate, she shouted at him, 'You cheat! You liar,
‘The most beautiful nest of palm leaf fibre woven'
I was a fool to believe the gaudy lies you've woven
I know you never built any nest', she flew away.

Through the welling tears, he saw at a distance
A foreign human tourist walking away with the nest
He built for his beloved, after paying the boy
Who had plucked it from the coconut palm leaf.

Daphne was a dryiad (tree nymph) in Greek mythology. She was daughter the of the river god Peneus. According to Greek mythology, the god Apollo insulted Eros, otherwise known as Cupid, the god of love. Becoming angry, Eros shot a golden arrow at Apollo, causing him to fall in love with the nymph Daphne the virgin. Eros then shot Daphne with a leaden arrow so she could never love Apollo back. So Apollo followed her while she ran away, until she came to the river of her father, Peneus. Apollo became jealous and puts it into the girl's mind to stop to bathe in the river Ladon; there, as all strip naked, the ruse is revealed, as in the myth of Callisto. There she wanted help from her father who turned her into a laurel tree so she would be safe from Apollo. Apollo then began to be sad. Some versions say that when Daphne saw Apollo sad, taking pity she made him a laurel wreath (a circle made of laurel that is worn like a crown) from her leaves. Other accounts state that Apollo made the laurel himself, taking from the tree. The laurel tree became sacred of Apollo and is used by emperors within the culture. After the crown was used for all the winners at his games and great heroes in the years to come would be crowned with laurel leaves. He also vowed that she, like him, would have eternal youth where her leaves would never turn brown or fall but would always stay lush and green. Some even say that he created this laurel wreath to remind him of the prize he can never win still Apollo loved that laurel with all his heart.
Unnikrishnan E S 25 February 2022

Dr Salim in his poetic autobiography "The Fall Of A Sparrow "

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Unnikrishnan E S 24 February 2022

I should thank the famous ornithologist Dr Salim Ali for providing insight into the lives of Baya Weaver Birds

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Bharati Nayak 24 February 2022

A green leaf from Greek mythology woven into an enchanting poem ----Pains and agonies of a lost love so creatively expressed.

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Unnikrishnan E S 24 February 2022

Thank you, Bharati. I hope to bring this out as a series. Obliged to you.

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UNNIKRISHNAN Sivasankara Menon

UNNIKRISHNAN Sivasankara Menon

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