The Last Time I Saw Paris

You have imagined how it was, I expect:
Troy’s famous towers burning, the city wrecked,
the lines of weeping captives marched away,
the streets strewn with corpses, the shore blood-flecked.

And the woman  who caused it all:  why, me!
Crying to  throw myself into the sea,
to join my lover Paris among the  dead.
Helen of Troy I will forever be!

Such is the legend. Now I’ll tell the truth.
Menelaus was ugly and uncouth
I admit. But at least he was a man.
Paris was just a silly shallow youth.

Except he wasn’t  young, not any more.
He’d aged so much during ten years of war,
losing  his looks before he lost his life.
Paris and Troy: I found them both a bore.

Sieges and love affairs must run their course.
My husband told me not to feel remorse:
“Troy was the reason. You were the excuse,
Or else I would have  settled for divorce.”


In the Palace at Ithaca

You must face facts, gorgeous Penelope:
this is the time for love, not for regret.
Odysseus is gone. So just forget
your wedding vows, and give yourself to me.
Your husband’s lost upon the wine-dark sea,
caught by some cyclops or a siren’s net.
Waste no more time or tears on him, my pet:
surrender to the passion that must be!

Cease your delaying tactics with the thread –
none of those tricks can stop me now, my dear.
Here we both are, and there’s the waiting bed…
but wait! What’s this? Odysseus is here?
And  fully armed? Forget the things I said –
stuff all this Homer!  Time to disappear.


David Whippman is a British poet, now retired after a career in healthcare. Over the years he’s had quite a few poems, articles and short stories published in various magazines. 


NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.

10 Responses

  1. Sultana Raza

    Interesting structure for the first poem. I agree that the Trojan war wasn’t really for Helen. I’ve touched upon the same topic in my poem published in The Peacock Journal. And about Calypso in Muse India (link not available). Your comments on my poems will be welcome. Don’t know if it’s OK to post links here, but here goes:

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Both of these poems are very fine. The title of the first one is especially delightful, as what follows it is not at all what you’d expect. And the AABA rhyme scheme of the quatrains is deftly handled.

    The Petrarchan structure of the second poem’s sestet is often difficult to pull off properly in English, but in this case it’s done to perfection.

    Might I be allowed to accept these two poems for inclusion in the next issue of TRINACRIA?

      • Sultana Raza

        Mr Salemi, You’ve said it much better than I could. They are fine indeed!

  3. David Hollywood

    Very enjoyable poems, they give personality and enhanced identity to such famous characters. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.