Aphrodite of Cyrene

For Creativity Challenge Day 21: Woman 

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #332


Aphrodite of Cyrene

“Perfection,” some would
say, of this statue of a young
woman carved in white stone.
Curves so smooth
they beg to be touched.
Central attraction,
V of her womanhood,

She has no hands with which
to create a world
where she can breathe.
No arms with which
to hold that world to full
rounded breast, nor lips to kiss
its fevered brow, or croon
and rock it to rest. No mouth
to express her distress
at this single-aperture
existence. No teeth
or tongue to define or defend
her too narrow boundaries.

Oh, yes, there are those
who would say, “This is

Elizabeth Crawford 12/11/2016

Notes: This was written over twenty-five years ago and published in a self-published chapbook, titled Singing Over the Bones in 2002. I am still involved in putting up daily prompts, and the words I choose often come from the news articles I read. This one came from a recent article about three different men, rapists who, even though found guilty, did not receive prison terms, but were put on probation. The last one, a college student, whose lawyer’s closing statement was that “we all make mistakes at his age, this could ruin the rest of his entire life.” The article went on to say that if this man serves his 20-month probation, his crime will be expunged from his record. My only question: And what of the lives of his victims? Are their lives somehow less important? Less viable, because after all, they are only women?

Note: Tomorrow, after noon, Sherry and I will be doing a chat about this Creativity Challenge and the role of the poet, writer, and artist in the face of upheaval and change. Please join us here:   http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/






About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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14 Responses to Aphrodite of Cyrene

  1. thotpurge says:

    A great perspective there Elizabeth, beautifully written.


  2. Interesting perspective – all allure and no protection. Doesn’t bode well.


  3. Jae Rose says:

    Certainly a perfect poem – and a connection i woefully missed when looking at statues.. i think real beauty would come from her fingers..writing her story and finally having a voice (and choice)


  4. Gillena Cox says:

    LOL i like the hint of “she cant talk back”

    much love…


  5. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    My goodness, this is absolutely riveting, Elizabeth❤️ Beautifully rendered.


  6. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, this poem is chilling. As I read it, I see similarities with how some men view women yet today. Just a defenseless object!


  7. Sherry Marr says:

    Yes, this is a powerful poem. While we have made some progress, clearly it has not been enough and those attitudes are prevalent, especially in the president elect. The women will carry the trauma for decades, but the lawyer was only concerned with the man’s future. Sigh.


  8. Susan Chast says:

    Whew! I singed myself on this one’s hot point. Marvelous! and too true.


  9. This is really beautifully written Elizabeth!


  10. oldegg says:

    How I agree with you, for the damaged statue somehow gives men an assurance that women are powerless, at their mercy to be viewed and abused without retribution. It would be better to have possible reconstruction exhibited too with a dagger in her hand to ward people off!


  11. bkmackenzie says:

    Your second stanza says so much and delivers reality to the worlds view of the feminine…bkm


  12. A wonderful poem, Elizabeth!


  13. One could not think of putting back the missing hands to Venus. That would render her ‘imperfect’



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