Kudos to the winners of our Spring, 2011, Odes to Olympians contest, honoring the god Apollo! Margaret Eddershaw, who resides in Greece, won the contest for adults with her poem, Apollo Speaks to the Press, while Rebekah Gunderson won the under-18 competition with her poem, Lantern.
As always, judging poetry is a difficult task. We received a couple of hundred entries. So we also want to draw your attention to those who received honorable mentions. The Adult Honorable Mentions include: Sherri Malloy Elsharra, Debby Cooper, Janet McCann, Wendy Chen, Thomas Rist, Nelam Shah and FJ Bergmann. In the under-18 category are Carys Goodwin, Charlotte Pryer, Haidee Chen, Kyle Montgomery and Emily Wingfield.
Scroll down to read the poems of the winners and the honorable mentions, and come back later to read about future contests.
The Tapestry of Bronze is a series of novels set in Bronze Age Greece.
There’s no need to read our books to enter the contests, but if you like mythology, or historical fiction, or exciting stories, we think you’ll enjoy them!
First Place Winner – Adult
Apollo Speaks to the Press
I want to make a statement
on the death of my son, Phaeton:
thanks to bullying at school,
he began to doubt his parentage.
As proof of paternity, he asked
to drive my Sun-Chariot.
I reluctantly agreed,
but as the horses leaped forward,
my boy struggled to rein them in -
they plunged towards the earth,
fire devouring fields and forests.
Phaeton drove the horses higher,
but they pawed at burning skies,
till he cried out for help.
Zeus shattered the chariot with lightning
and my son, consumed by flames,
fell - a solitary lark dropping to its nest -
into the river Eridanus’ cool embrace,
swirled away in a shroud of steam.
I ask forgiveness
from all who lost family and homes,
through my son’s crazy joy-ride.
Devastated by his death,
I have yet to drive the new chariot
Vulcan has so kindly provided.
But I assure members of the public,
my Sun-Chariot resumes its course
First Place Winner – Under 18
for all of your qualms
about honesty, you don't
true balance in his own
boy, you're a firestarter.
you win every argument
storms, you mend broken
hearts, torn limbs,
Honorable Mentions Adult
Sherri Malloy Elsharra
A Dream of Apollon
When Apollo was not so stellar
Apollo boasted golden hair
And sweetly singing lyre.
He wooed, like other Roman gods,
With heart--and loins--on fire.
He had success with ladies, sure,
And who knows where or when.
(It seems quite evident that there
Were “groupies” even then.)
But Daphne cast a “No” vote, and
When he pursued, she fled.
She preferred life as a laurel tree
To joining him in bed.
Cassandra’s tale did not improve
His tally sheet. Their trade:
Virginity for prophecy,
But once the deal was made,
She swore off having sex with him.
In crass retaliation,
He made sure no one believed her.
Hence, crises for the nation!
Apollo’s battle skills? First rate,
With warfare for a calling.
But like so many gods, his skills
With gals could be Apolling.
To Apollo At
daphne and apollo
“running is our natural state of being,” he told her. “of which there are two
categories: hunter-running and hunted-running.”
“these two categories suit our human inclinations
which are unnatural, or
perhaps too natural
of possession, denial, fear, estimation, thrill, delight, and
the nymph called daphne
threw up the ancient cry of
oh Father, my father
she was scared of possessiondenialfearestimationthrilldelightand
which was unnatural, or
perhaps too natural.
when apollo touched her, he felt her skin turning
rough and hard, no longer pleasurable he
kissed her anyway
because Eros, in a hammock of twine and starlight,
swinging over the center of the universe
No wonder they called the sun a god. Strong
Hot, he’s every inch you want from a man.
Just look at the street:
When he gets up, it’s off with the long sleeves girls
And where are the shorts?
And the boys.
Suddenly not so scared to bare bear chests:
The world’s their poem.
Oysters are in the air.
Still, I maintain the sweaty one’s name got mixed.
It’s not just Apollo turns Aberdonians hedonist,
Unzipping the fly of Calvin down to his Kleins,
Dionysus sings too - no rhyme, no reason!
Apollo the great
Who showered the creative jewels down on earth,
The lyrics, Tunes, melodies, songs and notes,
spreading the hypnotic,
Trance to human life,
Apollo the God of Music.
Who switched the largest lamp of the world,
The sun to engulf the whole planet with pure
Luminosity so darkness can meet its match,
Apollo the God of Light.
Who foretold the future,
The world’s catastrophes, natural disasters,
Plagues of doom unleashed,
Ancient mysticism maybe,
Or the omniscient All Seeing Eye,
Apollo the God of prophecy.
Who invented natural medicine,
Cures, remedies to combat ill health,
Eliminate suffering and pain,
To make the weak strong again,
Only on one place, earth
Apollo the god of healing.
The Further Suns
Under 18 Category
In a prayer to Apollo
The sunflower lifts its head,
A reflection of the disc
That ignites the sky.
Chariot with a fiery trail,
Father to fields of gold.
Sunflower grows, its task to reach the sky.
A flower in a pantheon of artistry,
Surrounded by Gods of equal wonder.
The rose of love with a fragrance
As powerful as Eros' arrow;
Iris, endowed with Athena's
Intuitive grey eyes.
Apollo breathes a hum of swirling wind.
Garden of Olympus in its isolation,
But visited by Pandora's whispers.
Each haunted soul unaware
That the petals they pick - (he loves me)
With fumbling fingers - (he loves me not)
Are sublime, created by an elaborate system.
Brothers and sisters dance in the sunlight.
In the eyes of Clytie
O great god Apollo
A simple water nymph like me
Born to even more than royalty!
O Patron of music and poetry,
A pale golden glow scatters the dark clouds
O god of the Sun
Across the clear sky your golden chariot runs
But you don’t look below, Apollo
Don’t leave me behind!
As I watch your chariot for nine days and nine nights
I need nothing but your brilliant light
Hoping for a glimpse of your beautiful face
I starve away at your godly grace
Just so you might notice me
My body turns stiff and green
My hair becomes golden petals, but I remain unseen
Nevertheless, I face towards you
Hoping you would get a clue,
That I am forever longing to be with you
Through mind, body, and soul in the soil,
I follow you eternally.
Streaks of Sun
I heard the cackling wheels and the tumultuous thunder
Of the great chariot of Apollo.
I saw the strides of fire, spouting from monstrous wheels.
I beheld the Sun, the Son, and the Light, all from one being.
I caressed that which no mortal had before.
Pure light he was made of, angelic in taste.
Hair made of the finest in life's everlasting weave.
Skin tough as steel, yet soft as supple harvest.
I beheld the Son.
He stayed only a moment, then singed the clouds with his depart
The great light before a grand shooting star
With heart content and mind enlightened
I beheld the Sun.
Our fair city had angered this great noble being
And lest wrath not be seeking, he beset upon us.
A plague spouted from every breath, and wheat.
And ill came to me, as a miasma.
Upon the doorsteps of Hades, I asked to see.
He came down, upon the stairs of carved pearl
Regret plagued him, who had brought to me
That now, I beheld the light.
Though lovers embrace in the night
beneath thy sister the moon
They look to golden dawn
and love through the afternoon.
So they turn to brilliant east
where golden Delphi lies
Under loftiest Parnassus
and Truth conquers disguise.
Castalia dives, arouses poets’ tongues
while Cephissus lopes on
And laurel branches quiver
for Daphne rests withdrawn.
Men who are sick and weary
with the blood of their kin
Turn toward bright Delphi
to be cleansed of their sin.
And Truth spills from thy lips
arrows from thy silver bow
Beauty trickles from thy lyre
for thou art Apollo.
Olympian among Olympians
Phoebus, play sooth
For beauty invites beauty
and Truth invites Truth.
Though lovers embrace in the night
beneath thy sister the moon
They turn toward golden Delphi
and love their greatest at noon.
Visit the winning poems of other Odes to Olympians contests!
Go here to visit the most current contest.
Concerned that you don't know enough about the Olympians to write poems about them? You can explore these websites:
Parada's Greek Mythology Link: A tremendously detailed resource
Theoi Greek Mythology: Exploring Classical mythology in Literature and Art
Timeless Myths: Greek myths and others as well
Several have wondered: who are we and why do we do this? What exactly is this “Tapestry of Bronze?”
First, our names are Victoria Grossack & Alice Underwood. We sponsor this contest because we want to encourage excellence and creativity. We’re using the same method used by the Greeks back in Classical Athens: competition. Instead of olive wreaths, we offer money and certificates for prizes. We especially want to encourage the under-18 because we want to support educators and students in our own small way. The idea occurred to us – most appropriately! – when we were visiting the ruins of ancient Olympia in Greece.
Second, the Tapestry of Bronze is a series of interlocking novels. They are set in the Bronze Age of Greece – several generations before the Trojan War. This was known to many as the “Golden Age of Heroes,” but to us they seem to be made of bronze and not gold. Our series is a tapestry, because the books tie together, but one book may focus on one character while another focuses on another. Each book can be enjoyed separately, or the books can be enjoyed together. As we state above, it is NOT necessary to purchase or to read our novels in order to enter the contests. However, purchasing the novels helps to support these contests.
Not sure if you’ll like the books? Then electronically download a sample at Amazon. Clicking on the covers below will take you to that company’s website.
Do you wish to contact us? Write to us at “tapestryofbronze” at “yahoo.com”
You may be interested in visiting other parts of our website:
Our Books (in English)
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A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review
An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait
of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's
mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005
A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but
more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History