Moon Song

Selene to Endymion

Night, for ever, ever night.
__Sleep as the Gods would sleep,
__Beautiful boy; sleep; sleep;
Rest ever in the cool night.
I shall smile on you moon-bright,
__Lay beside you and weep,
__Weep. Gently shall I keep
You young, lovely in the night.
Shine silver still in slumber,
__My boy. Immortal bliss,
__Silent on the hillside kissed;
Yet, never to remember.
For me, pain; forever, sighs:
Each day the loving Moon dies.




Ephialtes the Traitor describes the Spartan commander Leonidas (c. 540 – 19 September 480 B.C.) to the Persian king Xerces I (c. 518 – 465 B.C.)

A man, rock hard nipples, hair on the ass:
A thing of bronze, square jawed Leonidas
Will not be turned. Descendant of Cadmus
And Herakles, the father’s side. The discus,
The javelin, the stade, in each, peerless.
And I myself have seen him pierce a chest
At fifty pace and stick him to a tree.
Weapon of choice, the short sword, see his teeth,
You are dead. Your force in whole shall not pass,
He will not yield, O, Great King, Xerces. What,
My clever Greek? Your eye smiles. Come. Tell me.
There is a way, Lord of Hosts, he does not see,
Behind, a narrow path. He, to attack,
Is forward faced, You, stick him in the back.



Michael Curtis is an architect, sculptor, painter, historian, and poet, has for more than 40 years contributed to the revival of the classical arts. He has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums, including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The National Gallery of Art, et cetera; his pictures and statues are housed in over four hundred private and public collections, including The Library of Congress, The Supreme Court, et alibi; his verse has been published in over twenty journals; his work in the visual arts can be found at TheClassicalArtist.com, and his literary work can be found at TheStudioBooks.com.

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5 Responses

  1. paul buchheit

    Very nice, Michael. Beautiful sentiment in Moon Song, great imagery in Penetrate!

  2. Paul Freeman

    Just took a mo to look up Selene and Endymion – education never ends.

    I loved ‘Moon Song’. Even the title has a certain beautiful darkness about it. A very layered poem. Is it about the selfishness or the futility of preserving beauty – or both? How do I feel from Endymion’s perspective? I’m still unravelling (‘processing’ is the buzz word these days, I believe) the interwoven themes.

    As for ‘Penetrate’, it took me right back to the film ‘300’, Michael. I hope Gerard Butler (last seen in ‘Greenland’) isn’t looking for you! Loved the poem. The voice of Ephialtes and his bitterness comes through a treat. The military precision of the iambic pentameter, done in rhyming couplets, juxtaposed to the unorthodox rhyming scheme for a sonnet and the half- and internal-rhyme at the ends of the lines seems to mirror Ephialtes’ deformity (unless I’m reading too much into it).

    Anyhow, excellent stuff!

  3. Cheryl Corey

    For me, Moon Song has a very peaceful quality. I think the repetition of the word “sleep” in the beginning adds to that mood. I also like the assonance of the line that begins “Shine silver … ” It’s a lovely poem.

  4. Dave Whippman

    “Penetrate” was a nice take on a moment of Greek history. Skilfully written work.


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