Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

Whatever Happened? - Poem by Ayyappa Paniker

What happened?
To the land of Oedipus tragedy is nothing new.
Do the gods of the Olympus still thirst for war?
Do they try to hypnotize
The cattle-rearing youth
By displaying the neutron bomb?
Remember the time before Alexander's
Expedition of triumph?
Remember too the cursed centuries
That followed?
Will Agamemnon ever come back?
Kill him if he does.
Will Clytemnestra be a party
To the murderous act?
Kill her outright, if she is.
She screams, the sister
Of the son who killed his mother
Who had killed her father-
That scream reverberates over the sea
And on the hill.
When the night shrieks,
The tongue splits.
When the murder cry is heard
It splits the ear.
O Hellas that seeks to be reborn,
Hellas that had once left her husband for good,
And, having had enough of it,
Now returns from her lover.
To blind Homer
You are still the beloved daughter.
Penelope welcoming Odysseus
Who had sailed home in the gentle wind.
The dog still remembering his master.
Where have they all vanished?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 6, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, September 7, 2012

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