Eurydice to Orpheus

Dear Orpheus, I hope this letter finds you well.
I don’t know how long it will take to reach you—
the service here is somewhat unreliable, and truth to tell,
it’s hard to get through,

Charon is cranky, and the ferry service rather slow–
But what I really wanted to say–
don’t wait for me. I mean, you’re not immortal. Show
the world your music, play

those magical riffs. To be honest, I was mad–
I mean really, you just had to look?
I struggled, so sad
and it took. . .

it seemed forever, but time is different here.
I’m finally settled, fitting in—
of course, I miss the sun, the light, the clear
blue sky, warm skin.

(Our shadows shapes of what has been,)

And—I’ve met someone.
He makes me laugh,
he’s a bit tone deaf, but he’s so much fun—
he works on Hade’s general staff.

So, take care, my love. I wish you all good things,
though I hope you’ve learned more self-control.
Our life together is gone. We’ve cut the strings.
Perhaps we’ll meet again, soul-to-soul–

unless you become a star. . .I heard a rumor about your lyre.

With fond remembrance, Eurydice.

For dVerse, where Sanaa is hosting. She has asked us to write an epistolary poem. I had a bit of fun with this.

67 thoughts on “Eurydice to Orpheus

  1. This is absolutely OUTSTANDING, Merril 😀 I so enjoyed the part where Eurydice mentions she’s found another and that too in a matter of fact tone haha. It portrays a whole other side to her personality and for a moment we forget that she’s been abducted and carried to the Underworld. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 💝💝

  2. A Dear Orpheus letter! How many artists have been written off this way, I wonder. (And how many more Johns were added to the list “because you had to look.”) For some reason I hear Carly Simon singing “You’re So Vain” in the background of this Hadean cafe where it was written.

      • I have heard of it, I am pretty sure, but not what the details are, if you know what I mean. I read many myths and legends when I was young and they have all blurred in my mind. Your poem prompts me to be curious about it again. But having said that, I think your version stands on its own. You have a great way of wry humor mixed with a straightforwardness I really like here.

  3. This really touched my heart. It has all the poignancy of a normal, mortal break-up, but you’ve lifted it up above the stars: well done! I love your use of enjambment too, especially here:
    ‘of course, I miss the sun, the light, the clear
    blue sky, warm skin.’

  4. I’m with Brendan and Carly Simon – ‘You’re So Vain’ is the song for Orpheus! I couldn’t help but chuckle at ‘Charon is cranky, and the ferry service rather slow’, and smiled at the lines:
    ‘…I’ve met someone.
    He makes me laugh,
    he’s a bit tone deaf, but he’s so much fun—
    he works on Hade’s general staff.’

  5. This is both amusing and clever, Merril – and this happens to be one of my favorite myths too 🙂

    I loved this line so much in particular:

    he’s a bit tone deaf, but he’s so much fun—

    Yours,
    David

  6. Dear Merril,

    Oh, this is a fab version of the tale!
    I like options on classics, often.
    I wonder, have you seen the move “Black Orpheus”. (1959)

    If not, put it on you movie list!

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