Written for OLWG# 262
Long ago, but not too far away from here, in the town of Galway, on the west coast there lived an unskilled poet known as Tadhg MacCadáin who had three daughters. In addition to his writing, Tadhg was a defender with a local Hurling club and proudly wore his togs of purple and gold.
I’m not here to talk about him, though, I want to praise his daughters: Calliope, and her sisters Thalia, and Erato. Each of them, grew up to be poets in their own right.
Let’s begin with Calliope the eldest sister. Don’t cross her, that girl has a temper. Calliope was a singer and a writer of verse. She wrote epic poetry and had an angelic voice. As a teenager, she entered a singing contest, not exactly like, but kinda like, The Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. I hope you all remember that show. It aired in the US during the late ’40s and early ’50s. It was the one that catapulted Pat Boone and his famous white bucks to stardom. Anyway, she won by defeating the nine Pierides Sisters who she went ‘toe to toe with’ in the finals. It was no easy feat to win the Amateur Hour against the Pierides. They were accomplished, in their own right, and rumour is that they were a bit slutty, too. That always helped them glean votes in the competitions they entered, and they had gotten their start entertaining the troops on the battlefields of Troy they were pretty battle-hardened but not as good as Calliope MacCadáin, who won the competition fair and square. The other girls were not gracious losers and complained to Ted about how they had been robbed of the title that should have been theirs.
Calliope got tired of listening to their whining and complaining. Without warning, she turned them into a parliament of magpies. I told you she had a temper.
But, I also told you that she was a poet. She specialized in epics. She collaborated with Homer to produce Iliad and the Odyssey. In fact, Homer was quoted in the Athens Gazette shortly after publication that he would never have attempted such tasks without Calliope as a co-writer, and he would not have been able to complete them on his own. Calliope also contributed as a ghostwriter in the works of both Virgil and Dante. She received no credit for those works and, of course, no compensation for her tribulations. Those guys were misogynistic bastards.
Calliope had a younger sister, the middle sister named Thalia who wrote comedy and poems of rural, tranquil scenes. She is rumoured to have worked, in her later years, as a writer on the now legendary Rowan and Martin show, Laugh-In. She wrote memorable jokes and skits for the likes of Ruth Buzzi, Arti Johnson, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin and Alan Sues. Although she put in countless hours, she received no credit for her toils and products at that time of her career. In her memoirs, Thalia proffers the theory that this was because of her advanced age, grey hair, age spots, and crepe-paper skin. Actors and actresses were vain and self-centred in those days. Thalia faded into the shadows when standing in the presence of women like Goldie Hawn. She didn’t hold a grudge, though, the work paid up all her bills.
Like her sister, she contributed to the works of better known earlier authors as well. Her influence features in Hesiod’s Theogony, and all the works of Apollodorus and Diodorus Siculus, (it is most conspicuous in Bibliothēkē historica on which she collaborated in her early years). She and Diodorus lived together in a “walk-up” flat in downtown Agyrium. It was one of those cold-water flats and did not meet the comfort requirements of Thalia so she and Siculus broke up after only a short time.
After leaving Diodorus Siculus, Thalia took up with a guy named Apollo who treated her better and with whom she conceived an entire erotic dance troupe of brothers. Known as “The Korybantes.” The assumed personas of seven demigods, and performed, danced, directed and choreographed what was to become known as The Dance of the Mysteries of Samothrake. A salacious and vulgar dance performed by the nude brothers armed with spears and shields, accompanied by tambourines, drums and the cries of their mystic groupies.
One of her better-known solo works is the semi-autobiographical 76th Orphic Hymn which was dedicated to her sisters.
She was spared the temper of her older sister and never turned any of her rivals into alternate species, but neither did she realize the fame of Calliope.
The third and youngest of the sisters went by the name of Erato. A hottie who likes to flash her body for people on the roads and in the subways of Galway. She wrote romance poems about love and sex.
Her best-known work is a tragedy that tells the story of a young man, Seamus, and his girlfriend, Rhadine, who were star-crossed lovers from Lydacan Townland, east of Galway just beyond the airport. Rhadine was a young girl who was supposed to marry a rich man from the ancient city of Blackrock Heath, but instead, she chose to have a secret love affair with a dairyman called Seamus.
The man Rhadine was about to marry was a dangerous Irishman, with a sexy accent. When he learned of the affair, he killed both his future wife and her lover, Seamus.
Erato wrote the tale over the course of almost a month. She wrote in poetic form while sitting naked in the front window of her flat on William Street. William Street is famous for buskers who perform there and the people who film them. There is a lot of footage of Erato sitting naked in the window of her flat. Postcards can be bought for 20p at any number of barrows lining the street. Videographers would wait for days, hoping to capture her moving more than her right hand as she scratched her quill across her parchment. Did I mention that she’s a hottie; lithe and lean, petite, with tanned skin, kept flawless by frequent visits to Allure Beauty. A salon tucked into a corner of Corbett Court Shopping Centre not far from her flat. Women want to be her. Men want to be with her.
She is one of “The poet’s daughters.”
This week’s prompts were:
- inside my dream
- picture postcards
- it’s the plural of plankton