Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poems in April: Tree Mythology

Welcome to the Poems in April Challenge for Sunday 21st March 2019 with Kim from Writing in North Norfolk.

I have been reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, an amazing novel of intricately woven roots and branches: tree stories that bring together a group of strangers, each summoned in different ways by trees to save a few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Related image
Daphne and Apollo - found on Wikipedia
As a lover of trees – they are my favourite plant of all – I have been mesmerised by this novel and it has inspired my prompt for today, which is based on myths and legends, stories in which people change into trees, such as Daphne, who becomes a bay laurel before Apollo can catch her; the Maenads who murdered Orpheus and have to watch their own toes turn into roots and their legs into trunks; Cyparissus, transformed into a cypress tree by Apollo; Myrrha, who is changed into a myrtle after creeping into her father’s bed; and Baucis and Philemon who spend centuries together as oak and linden as a reward for taking in strangers who are actually gods. There are too many tree myths and legends to list them all here.

The challenge is to pick a tree story, from the list above or any other you know and love, and write a poem about it. You can write it in the classical way as a ballad or narrative poem, or you can update it, riff with it or play around with the idea in any form of your choice. You can even make up your own story about a human who is changed into a tree.

Here are a few links to help you:

Image result for baucis and philemon Pinterest
Baucis and Philemon by Arthur Racham - image found on Pinterest

I also found this wonderful poem by Katherine Gallagher, 'The Year of the Tree':

Using your knotty tree finger, join in by clicking on Mister Linky and filling in your name and url – not forgetting to tick the small ‘data’ box. And please remember to read and comment on other toads’ poems – let’s see if we can create a living forest of mythological poems!


Kerry O'Connor said...

I enjoyed writing this poem - the prompt sent my thoughts along a new path, and I coupled it with my word of the day 'promise' and an ink sketch by Jason Limberg. I am more than pleased that after 21 days of writing, some new ideas are still forthcoming!

Kim M. Russell said...

Good morning everyone! I'm sorry I'm a bit late this morning but I have a weird problem with my laptop. Nothing on the desktop works and I'm having to work around it. I've just managed to access the Internet. I can't even close down as normal! Thank you for your patience and happy Easter!

Kerry, I'm delighted that your ideas are still flowing after three weeks of Poems in April. I must admit, I'm starting to flag.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a very intriguing prompt. I must read this book! I will try to pen something in the morning. Here, it is the middle of the night.

brudberg said...

For me there is only one tree to write about... :-)

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

Good Morning all and Happy Easter Sunday! Kim, what a marvelous prompt you have given us. At first, I thought I would use a myth you had suggested, but I ended up creating one of my own. I hope you all have a wonderful peaceful day.

Susie Clevenger said...

Great Prompt Kim!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Happy Easter everyone!❤️ It's quite late here so I am heading to bed. I'll be back tomorrow to read others and comment. Thank you for the amazing prompt, Kim!❤️

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I've given you some personal mythology.

Jim said...

Sorry here to be sooo late. We had a busy Easter Day today. Not the doctor though the Mrs. does have a sore ear today. BTW, she fell into the hot tub. Not sure that her picture doing that could make NaPoWriMo.
Kim, your prompt is clever. I'm not well versed in mythology but I might have worked for me as I have been exposed with more time. I hope your machine gets better.