Fair warning – this is all going to be very rambly and meandering, a collection of my thoughts concerning this poem as well as anything my mind deems relevant. Which…my mind leaps to interesting places, so they may only be relevant to me.
Though I enjoyed the poem in its entirety (which is saying something since I still have high school-esque distaste for epic poetry, though perhaps I simply needed to be exposed to a story I could enjoy), two of the parts that stood out to me were rather…comedic, in nature. From when Paneros is speaking with eir child Pancrates:
“My child, you are all peace- all truth,
all beauty, and all power!”
“And so you have told me since my birth.
But what is this new sibling’s name?”
And later, when Paneros names Paneris:
“Speak my name and I will be yours.”
“You are my daughter and my son,
you are the Ouranos to my Gaia,
the Iusaas to my Atum,
but also the Nyx to my Gaia
and the Hadrian to my Antinous,
Agdistis and Hermaphroditos to myself,
the wife and husband to my soul,
the man and woman for my body,
the goddess and god of my deepest love,
a love between love and strife:
your name is Paneris.”
“It took you long enough to say it!
Were you stalling for time to figure it out?”
“I may have been, but you’ll never know!”
I admit, I have a spot for things that make me laugh, especially in otherwise serious situations. I guess you could blame that on Jack Frost, but at the core of it, I just like laughing. It’s how I keep my own ego from being puffed up – nothing quite like laughing at yourself – and a number of the spirits I work with have a similar approach.
That isn’t to say the entire poem is comedy – it’s not. But it’s so well-balanced and crafted…reading it felt like all the times I’ve curled up with a good book and gotten lost. (I’ve realized that is not an activity I’ve done for a while – truly being lost in a story.) Seeing as how I’m often too busy these days to really sit down and read like I want to, that this poem sort of sat me down and had me read it…
It’s good and you should go read it too, is what I’m saying.
There were so many parts of the poem that connected to the Four Gods I interact with as well, which struck me each time they occurred and as I reread the poem occur even more. The point of love and strife being bedfellows rings true across, well, across pretty much every story I’ve ever read! Also poignant is the comment that love is not stopped by perfection or the lack thereof – a lesson I am working intimately with as I finish up the backbone of the Westernland mythos.
But one point that strikes me most – personally and mythically – is when Pancrates speaks to Paneros this:
“Paneros, my parent, what did you expect?
You felt conflicted over your desires—
feeling selfish for even desiring to have a love of your own.
You love all beings in the cosmos,
but you have never loved yourself well enough.
By desiring the love of one, you hoped
to fill the gap in love for yourself you lacked.
But look at yourself: you are what you’ve always wished,
and no being in the universe does not love you.
In this realization of all beauty is to be found all power.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some much needed reading, hopefully curled up in a cafe, and trying to compose a post that is more than, ‘look at this really cool thing!’ (Which, it is cool, but I should be more eloquent than that.)