Poetry Friday: An Epitaph for Medusa

Every month I look forward the Ditty Challenge that Michelle Heidenrich Barnes shares on her blog. In February, to celebrate their new book, Last Laughs: Prehistoric Epitaphs (Charlesbridge, 2017), J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen challenged Michelle’s readers  to write an epitaph poem. All month I’ve been at a loss for a topic. Then, yesterday, inspiration arrived in the mail:

“An Epitaph for Medusa”

With slithering, serpentine hair
and a cold, penetrating stare,
you turned men into statues of stone,
so most mortals left you alone.

But while you slumbered in bed,
Perseus chopped of your head.
Now, instead of resting in Elysian’s field,
you’re entombed on Athena’s bronze shield.

 © Catherine Flynn, 2018

Please be sure to visit Elizabeth Steinglass for the Poetry Friday Roundup, and then stop by Michelle’s blog to read more epitaphs.

9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: An Epitaph for Medusa

  1. I haven’t done this challenge yet. Such a stretch for me. Love your Medusa epitaph, especially the slithering first line. She’s always freaked me out because I loathe snakes.


  2. I like the idea that not all epitaph poems need to be short and funny. This is a great use of the form. It’s great to be open to finding inspiration everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

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