Hephaestus Alone

By Linda Gregg b. 1942 Linda Gregg
His heart is like a boat that sets forth alone   
on the ocean and goes far out from him,
as Aphrodite proceeds on her pleasure journeys.   
He pours the gold down the runnels   
into a great mystery under the sand.   
When he pulls it up by the feet   
and knocks off the scale, it is a god.   
What is it she finds with those men   
that equals this dark birthing? He makes   
each immortal manifest. The deities   
remain invisible in their pretty gardens   
of grass and violets, of daffodils and jasmine.   
Even his wife lives like that. Going on yachts,   
speaking to the captains in the familiar.   
Let them have it, the noons and rain and joy.   
He makes a world here out of frog songs   
and packed earth. He made his wife   
so she contains the green-fleshed   
melons of Lindos, thalo blue of the sea,   
and one ripe peach at five in the morning.   
He fashioned her by the rules, with love,   
made her with rage and disillusion.

Linda Gregg, "Hephaestus Alone" from All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems.  Copyright © 2008 by Linda Gregg.  Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

Source: All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008)

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Poet Linda Gregg b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Linda  Gregg

Biography

Born in New York, poet Linda Gregg was raised in Marin County, California. She received both a BA and an MA from San Francisco State University. Gregg has published several collections of poetry, including Too Bright to See (1981); Alma (1985); Things and Flesh (1999), finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; and All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of 2008 and winner of the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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