Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Ovid Cruising along Rte. 77 in Newer Arcadia

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Ovid Cruising along Rte. 77 in Newer Arcadia

Article excerpt

The only homeland station I receive

in this clunker plays the Hymn to Apollo

over and over to the point of stultification

yet I sing along anyway, why not? it's

a grand day despite Phrygian bombast.

No one remembers that the great Apollo

was also the god of plagues. Ha!

And my real name is Publius Naso -

Ovidius, the middle name, so of course

the Americans call me Ovid which sounds

less Latin than Naso. Don't think ever

that racism dies; it goes underground.

I watch the country mailbox I just passed

recede in the rear view as it metamorphoses

into a sleek gazelle trying to catch up

with this battered '57 Chevy. It soon gives up

and veers into a wheat field, golden and glistening,

and surely the matrix of dozens of fertile nymphs

that Apollo would no doubt ravish without qualm.

But he's long gone -gods after all, they come and go.

Alas, we poets have no such luck; we endure

and in enduring suffer not the eagles

of Prometheus but rather the claws and talons

of relentless tomorrows. It's our words

not our bodies that survive. I have no use

for Apollo-just another privileged playboy

with connections. Hell, we poets invented him.

Not the legislators, dear Shelley, but the creators

of the world. Words too are physical.

And here's a jogger, young woman in spanex

(one modern innovation I adore)/

Think 111 turn her into a bulrush so she can

sway with the Aeolian breezes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.