Of magic and more


Clytie’s Folly


 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.