Adamastor Broods

Its hair grizzled and matted with clay,
Its mouth coal black, teeth yellow with decay
Luiz Vaz de Camoes ~ The Lusiads

Toril Fisher Fine Art



That I should have fallen so –
a great heave of stone
shackled
at throat, hand and foot –
all my titanic strength
depleted
leached away in the sands
and rocky indifference of time –

There was one who knew
what it was to be desired by a god –
before my fine brow was furrowed
granite
my keen eye, this shrunken pit
despair
and my passions became the storm –

Now each living breath divides
the blue
my heart swell sinks unwary vessels –
I spit
out white bones on barren shores.


Table Mountain, South Africa
"The Titan, Adamastor"

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret features the art of Toril Fisher.


One of the Titans was called Adamastor. As punishment for coveting a nymph, named Thetis, and for his rebellion against the gods, Adamastor was turned into a jagged mountain at the southernmost tip of Africa. For millennia, Adamastor broods upon his fate beneath the earth, embittered by his exile. His beard becomes the fynbos of the Cape, his skin as rough as the sandstone outcrops, his mouth like a granite cavern on the rugged coast. Read more about this myth HERE.


Comments

  1. I adore myths and stories like this, particularly if they involve the sea. Poor Adamaster. Is desire such a crime? Now he is eternal--eternally heavy and bitter. Brother!

    I was watching a show on Smithsonian channel the other day, called "Aerial Africa" and it was aerial views of South Africa with a voice-over about the places. I learned that Port Elizabeth was named after the mayor's (founder's? not sure) wife. She must have been something.

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    1. The town where I live is also named after someone's wife.. Perhaps they were running out of ideas.

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  2. I learn something new every day! This was breathtaking in its drama. The sands and rocky indifference of time - made me sigh. You gave voice to Adamastor with this write.

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    1. I'm glad to bring something new to light, or at least, to keep old stories alive.

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  3. Adamastor the mountain - a legend that isn't told much. I didn't realise the mountain was in South Africa. I love that you have written from his point of view, Kerry. The phrase 'great heave of stone' is so effective, as is the 'rocky indifference of time'. I was bowled over by the lines:
    'Now each living breath divides
    the blue
    my heart swell sinks unwary vessels –
    I spit
    out white bones on barren shores'.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I feel a bit rusty in terms of constructing a phrase so I am pleased you liked it.

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  4. So very nice, even a high place for the fallen. I love it all,
    ..

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  5. Wow! What a most deftly written poem. Each line, word, phrase is so wrought with energy and emotion. And the interpretations and telling of the story - how well you've woven each element and presented it in a unique voice (yours) but it rings with the universal! This is totally stunning Kerry!

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    1. Thank you for your generous comment, Pat. I am glad to know that I managed to infuse some tension into this monologue.

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  6. The Adamastor has a reason to brood that it was treated unfairly. Good to know of this story, Kerry!

    Hank

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  7. I didn't know about Adamastor before. How vividly you re-create him!

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  8. There was one who knew
    what it was to be desired by a god – I loved the story behind this and it reminds me of being there at that southernmost tip of the cape.. thank you!

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    1. It is truly a unique place - so splendid.

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  9. What a great story told in poetry!

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  10. Admaster. Poor guy. But a titan hooked by his desire. So much retrieved from the image of the boat which I at first mistook for a kite. I love tales of mythology, of creation. the shot of the ocean with the mountain and the sea is so much more inspirational. this is a tale I can read several times over Kerry.

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  11. And the roar of Adamastor's in the gales of the Cape of Good Hope ... No wonder your poems thrash with such sinew, the thunder of that surf resounds long in the heart. And if one is going to write of Titans, they will need to be prepared to spit bones out in the end. (Congrats.) I read the Lusiads a while back in my all-things-of-the-sea reading voyage, a mariner's Aeneid fer sure,; wrote a series of poems called Cape Blue, exploring the ends of awe and awfulness. I'll dig one out and post it to the Well sometime soon.

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  12. Oh what a damning sentence to be given for adoring the forbidden. I also love learning something new.

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  13. Places have stories just like humans... fascinating - and the image of the ocean and mountain is stunning.

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