August 29, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Sunil Sharma



Thinking of her as my Muse-mother

“You may forget but
let me tell you
this: someone in
some future time
will think of us”

– Sappho, The Art of Loving Women



I hear your soothing voice, dear Sappho,

clear and present

while gazing at the visual of the rugged cliffs

of the Lefkada Island in my suburban Mumbai home


and see centuries vanish like the mist before a rising sun

I then see you taking that fatal plunge for Phaon from the craggy heights

into the blue expanse below, eager to devour the priestess whose lyrics echo

unabated from the void


what an ultimate price for an uncouth ferryman!


They say it is a myth only.

I see a clear design.

We always want gifted women to vanish from public mind

Virginia Woolf disappears.

So does Sylvia Plath.

What a tragic waste!

Driving them crazy or suicidal, urging them to die young, unfulfilled

and then deal with the haunting!

We evoke Muses but with their daughters, remain unkind.


Phaon, the Ugly, was abusive and devalued your devotion

much like his heir in the modern/post-modern homes

and nothing has changed much— across time-space


I wonder why you suffered the indignities at his hands.

You continued to pine for that self-obsessed brute applying ointment

given by Aphrodite for a complete makeover but beasts cannot be transformed by ointments and creams


Your sacrifice deprived the listening world of other songs that might have issued from your tender lips and a caring heart

You epitomize the beauty of love and goodness and were banished!

As I gaze at the sinewy cliffs and the inviting Ionian Sea for the depressed

I clearly hear your spirit whispering in tones that still mesmerize!



It is not cultural haunting

it is a Renaissance of a talent that calms fevered minds


O, Mother!

O, Poetess!

The tenth Muse!

I evoke your enchanting words for these hate-filled times!





(Inspired by the image of Lefkada Island from which Sappho took her dive to death)







Sunil Sharma

Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma writes prose and poetry, apart from doing literary journalism and freelancing. A senior academic, he has been published in some of the leading international journals and anthologies. Sunil has got three collections of poetry, one collection of short fiction, one novel and co-edited five books of poetry, short fiction and literary criticism.  Recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012.  Another notable achievement is his select poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree-2015. He edits the  English section of the monthly Setu, a bilingual journal from Pittsburgh, USA.


  1. JYOTIRMAYA THAKUR May 28, at 12:58

    Great read and thought provoking poem on the contemporary era with an urge to respect and support women of talent instead of driving them to end their lives . Very inspiring poem like the muse he has chosen-"Sapho ".

  2. P C K PREM August 29, at 08:54

    After a long time, enjoyed a good thoughtful lyric. Good. Congrats.


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