Tarnished by a cruel brush

Mine is a lonely path.

Forever the one responsible for pain and suffering.

A Titan that stole fire from Gods for mankind

Has his insides torn out daily.

Moulded from the earth,

I have been fashioned as a

Punishment on mankind- on man.

My sensual curves, tender touch, and power for creation

A dangerous warning

All gifted or

All giving?


You know the rest.

There was a box I was not to open

Filled with all the plagues of mankind

(And some blessings I might add).

Before you judge me as cruelly as the poets of antiquity-

May I say in my own defense,

Hope remains.

P.S. This poem was based on a friendly challenge of poetry.  The topic was ‘hope’ and we had 30 minutes. My mind turned to Pandora immediately.  Of course I needed to do a wee bit of research before I could proceed- totally out of my character:-)

Sympathetic  to humankind Prometheus had violated the will of the Titans by sharing fire.  For his benevolent act, he was sentenced to an existence of having his liver pecked out by an eagle daily.  Finally, the cruelest punishment of all (tongue in cheek for those who don’t know me), Pandora was fashioned by the Gods for mankind- their cruel punishment for accepting fire. This is how women came to earth- she is our Eve in Greek mythology.

It might be noted that one of the Greek writers Hesiod, which wrote down the story of Pandora, seems to be misogynistic- note:

From her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.

Certainly no trace of bias there- can one assume he has had his own fair share of issues with women?

What I wanted to do with my poem after the research, is play on Pandora’s knowledge of the lot in history she has been given.  One only look to all the artistic portrayals of Pandora for a clear image of how the collective unconscious views her: sexual, flighty, and helpless.  In looking for an image that would match my poem, the only one I could find was a sculpture that was created in the nineteenth century by Pierre Loison .  She stands regal- a queen- she holds the box in her hand, but is not the embrace of the helpless, but rather a symbol of her power.

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