Gentle the Night: A Poem Inspired by Myth
Gentle the night. When she
curls up around your windows,
unfurling the dark, a silent and
stealthy and sinuous slide,
be quiet and still. And if
beneath the covers you
grasp a light or open a novel
don’t let her know.
Gentle the night. Caress every
shadow — let the moonbeams
glide through the curtains,
bounce off your fingers and
spatter in lines and in patterns
along the walls as nighttime falls
and slips into place and silver
Selene blinks and opens her arms
and into them
And romp through the clouds
in the goddess’s arms and spring
and jump (whiskers on kittens
and raindrops on roses) and fly
on the breath of dreams.
Gentle the night. When you wake
and reach out your slender arms
to me — don’t cry when I’m
not there. The moon has sealed
me up in beams of light
and silver rays — Endymion,
upon the hill, laid to rest
on the breast of the dancing
I love Greek myths, and one of my favorite myths is the myth of Selene and Endymion. Selene, the goddess of the moon, sees Endymion, a beautiful young man, and decides that she wants to marry him. But she’s worried about his mortality. So she sues to Zeus, who allows her one wish. She asks for him to put Endymion into an eternal sleep. He fulfills this request.
In this poem, I gave the myth a little twist by following a train of thought — what if Endymion already had a mortal lover himself, who had to be hoodwinked through dreams?
Tell me what you think of this poem in the comments! And if you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy my poem “In the Darkness,” which is inspired by the myth of Persephone and Hades.
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