and post notes and photos about your poem like Robert Lindley.
Robert J. Lindley, 10-10-2020
Cinquain, Sonnet, Cinquain
(CSC)... three of three
Final poem in series
Syllables per line:
0 2 4 6 8 2
0 10 10 10 10 0 10 10 10 10 0 10 10 10 10 0 10 10
0 2 4 6 8 2
Total number of syllables:184
Total number of words:130
Cupid's story about true love
MARK MOLLDREM In Season Feb 13, 2017
Cupid has been domesticated. Originally, a strapping youth of marriageable age (with wings, bow and arrow), this classical god (Cupid, son of Venus, in Latin; Eros, son of Aphrodite, in Greek) has degenerated into a cutsie child (sometimes diapered, yet with wings, bow and arrow) to sentimentalize greetings of affection on Valentine’s Day cards. A person who falls in love says, “I have been struck with Cupid’s arrow.”
The ancient story of Cupid reveals a deep truth about our humanity. The story itself swirls around a jealous mother. The goddess Venus despises what the human woman Psyche has done to her divine reputation. Because everyone is fawning over the ravishing beauty of Psyche, worship in the temples of Venus has declined and the grounds have deteriorated. In jealous anger, Venus recruits the skills of her son, Cupid, to punish Psyche.
“Use your power and make the hussy fall madly in love with the vilest and most despicable creature there is in the whole world” (as reported by Apuleius, second-century CE writer of Roman tales). However, the god of love himself fell hopelessly in love with Psyche as soon as he saw her. The story takes many twists and turns due to intimidated men who could only admire Psyche from a distance (none having the courage to ask for her hand in marriage), an oracle’s instruction on how to get a husband, and a rescue by the gentle Zephyr wind.
In what seems like a strange relationship, Cupid draws Psyche into his mansion, but will only be with her at night when she cannot look upon him. She rests comfortably in this until her sisters visit her and with jealousy in their hearts question what kind of a man this must be. Psyche determines to look upon him at night with a lamp in hand, even though Cupid warned her that this would bring only great disappointment. When Cupid woke upon her presence with the lamp, he immediately fled, saying, “Love cannot live where there is no trust.”
However, this is Cupid, god of love, and the story will have its happy ending eventually. After mean mother Venus inflicts several trials upon Psyche while she searches relentlessly for Cupid, they are finally reunited. Cupid himself had been longing for Psyche and took steps (or in his case, flight) to see that nothing would get in their way again. He flew to Mount Olympus and prevailed upon Jupiter to make Psyche immortal so they could be united forever. She was given the ambrosia (elixir of the gods) to drink and everyone was happy ever after, including Venus.
A dramatic turning point in this story occurred when Psyche broke her trust in Cupid. She had experienced great comfort and peace by his side at night even though she could not see him. When this was not enough, she lost him. Trust is a vital aspect of love because love is a mystery and we can never know everything about the beloved. Love accepts that enough can be known to trust the rest into the arms of the beloved. To demand more is to betray that which drew one into the loving relationship in the first place. Also, as more may indeed be surprisingly revealed—like your husband has wings on his shoulders which could be seen with the lit lamp—love will be able to see through that to the core person with whom one is in love. In this sense, love is not blind, but demonstrates is power in the full light of disclosure—warts (or wings) and all!
But, even more philosophically profound as to the nature of humanity—for the story of the gods is really the story of humanity: the soul (psyche) is not complete without love. As Edith Hamilton, renowned interpreter of classical civilization, concludes about this story, “Love (Cupid) and the soul (‘psyche’ is the Greek word for the soul) belong together in an inseparable union.”
The capacity to love and be loved is a great, if not the greatest, gift of our humanity. It defines us as truly human beyond the capacity of a rock or a mollusk. How are you valuing and exercising your capacity to love and be loved at this time in your life?
French novelist, Albert Camus, comments with a poignant play on words, “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” Ancient myths about the gods and Mount Olympus are imaginative fabrications that express truths we live out on earth. Your life is not a fiction, nor is it a lie. What truth about love are you living out for real? This is more than a Valentine’s Day question.
(Mark J. Molldrem is a writer, community volunteer, and daily host of Joy in the Morning on WBEV. He lives in Beaver Dam with his wife, Shirley. WordPowerSolutions@gmail.com)