Category Archives: The Oracle at Delphi by Alexandra Kostoulas

The Oracle at Delphi

by Alexandra Kostoulas

 

The only thing that matters,

she said, as the sunrise

became an ellipsis that hangs

between thoughts…is that

you be true to yourself no matter what.

 

She said this and tilted her head back, the Oracle.

And laughed a throaty, long bellow—

her hair, woven back against her skull in plaits,

her robe, silken in flattering folds

and the gasses shimmering up through the fog

in the chasm that blows in cold, surprising, intoxicating

air on all pilgrims that are able to climb up through the leafy

shadows to hear her speak.

 

Know yourself: words to live by, no matter your time.

Know yourself and the rest will come.

 

Maybe these words were too frightening

for powerful men – the Great Alexander, who in a fury, pulled

her out of the temple by her hair

when she suggested he might not

conquer the entire world, but at best a piece of it,

 

or the thousands of young men,

come to inquire about their

future greatness, who instead lost themselves

in madness and her eyes.

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