Img source  Narcissus by Caravaggio

Over at dVerse this evening Bjorn is hosting and asking us “to write poetry that creates drama by focusing on the contrast between opposites, between light and dark, between good and evil. There is some connections to the technique of antithesis I have written about before, but here you have to think a bit like Caravaggio. You have to make the light shine and lift from the shadows. Create drama and volume of the light you want to lift from the dark backdrop, and don’t forget the drama”

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Oh that such beauty

and lightness of countenance

could bring a darkness of being to bear witness

to life itself

one who shunned all love proffered

in disdain and with aloofness

calling out in search of self perhaps

and hearing an echo

one that was embodied

but faded into sound



and how deep black was that pool

that reflected the light within

and revealed the true love

Here lies Nemesis in it’s unforgiving depths





and it drew Narcissus

into the impossible dance with self

that left

no self

at all





22 thoughts on “narcissus

  1. Grace says:

    What an interesting response to Narcissus theme Paul ~ I specially like the contrast of lightness and darkness, drawing into that impossible dance with oneself ~ I would like to believe that the self is very much intact ~

    • paulscribbles says:

      Thank you once again for your thoughtful comment. Depends on the context I guess Grace. In Narcissus’ situation it led to his death by suicide. Perhaps his eternal self remained unchanged but the chap peering into the water nor his reflection were no more.

  2. kim881 says:

    Hi Paul! Sorry I’ve only just got around to reading today. I like theme of Narcissus and the way you have woven lightness and dark into the poem right from the first lines. Even the echo has its nuances: ‘calling out in search of self perhaps / and hearing an echo /
    one that was embodied / but faded into sound / alone / alone’
    I love the deep black pool ‘that reflected the light within’ and the fading ending that conveys the drawing of ‘Narcissus / into the impossible dance with self / that left / no self / at all’.

    • paulscribbles says:

      Wow. This wins my comment of the year award. Thank You so much for taking time to reflect so deeply on my poem. I was really happy with the echo part and I wanted to talk about her character in a way that resonated with the idea of an echo alone…hence the repeated line.
      The dark pool was a perfect container for Nemesis and worked well with the theme.
      Thanks again for such a wonderful comment.

  3. ladynyo says:

    This is a really good poem on Darkness/Light, Paul. Using Narcissus as the self to encapsulate this theme is brilliant. That end part of drowning in self….it nails the ‘fruits’ of narcissism. There is never room for light in these folk. They are the end all and be all of Life. I read this poem as a textbook in psychology of Narcissism. Bravo. This soars.

  4. katiemiafrederick says:

    A day oF liGht
    wHeRe all stood
    togeTher naked
    free iN niGht
    without scare of
    separate.. cooperation..
    liFe of day then..
    whEre mirrors
    of Love are
    in eYes
    of other ones
    wHole as Family..
    Nature.. sAMe..
    hmm.. too many
    humans now.. overall
    me generationS eventuAlly
    could save planet eYes from
    more of togetHeRness hiding liGht
    of living day beyond killing fields more
    ‘they’ say..
    there is now
    a sliver..
    a silver lining
    iN Nature’s play..
    toGetHer wiTh
    all more..:)

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