This is my submission for the dVerse “Let’s be Fabulists today” challenge. The idea is to write a piece of poetry inspired by any fable of your choice. You can also write your own fable if you like, just be a Fabulist and do it the way you find suitable 😀 Thank you Bjorn for this super-interesting prompt!
I chose the Greek myth of Clytie the sunflower maiden. There are a few versions of the story, I used this one because I like it best. Clytie, a beautiful water nymph falls in love with Sun god Apollo, but he does not return her affections, breaking her heart and causing her much misery. This leads the other gods to pity her and turn her into a sunflower, so she always follows the route of the sun and folds her petals in when the sun sets, thereby proving her everlasting love for Apollo.
Long ago, a lovely water nymph
Loved a handsome god
And she loved him truly
With a fire never to thaw.
She was Clytie with the spun gold tresses
He was Apollo, master of the sun
As arrogant he was, as loving was she
He loved many; for her he was the only one.
Luminous and lovestruck, her eyes
Followed him across the azure sky
Never he deigned to cast her a glimpse
Uncaring was he, yet she never questioned why.
With his arrival her day began
Hope made her delicate bosom tremble
Yet not once did he look upon her beauty
Never did his strong hands on the reins fumble.
“Forget him!”, Clytie’s sisters urged
“He will give you nothing but pain
This obsession will raze you to ashes
In the end nothing of you will remain.”
“No”, she insisted, naïve as she was
“He will love me one day soon.”
But the stars would not will it to happen
And Clytie wept for Apollo night, day and noon.
The depth of her devotion
Had failed to move the one she desired
But the gods had seen her suffering
And took pity on her situation, for it was dire.
Slowly the magic wove itself in patterns
Turning each finger into a soft leaf
Slender waist tapered down into a stem
Petals bloomed on her face, no longer to express grief.
The gods had morphed Clytie
She was a flower now, the hue of sunshine
But her lovely golden face
would still follow the sun
She could not speak her sorrow,
But for his love she would always pine.