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POEMS ABOUT EROS AND CUPID

These are translations of ancient Greek poems about Eros. Eros was the Greek counterpart of the Roman god Cupid. While today we tend to think of Cupid as an angelic cherub shooting arrows and making people fall in love, the ancient Greek and Roman poets often portrayed Cupid/Eros as a troublemaker who was driving them mad with uncontrollable desires.


Sappho, fragment 42
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Eros harrows my heart:
wilds winds whipping desolate mountains,
uprooting oaks.



Sappho, fragment 130
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Eros, the limb-shatterer,
rattles me,
an irresistible
constrictor.



Sappho, fragment 54
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Eros
descends from heaven,
discarding his imperial purple mantle.



Sappho, fragment 22
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

That enticing girl's clinging dresses
leave me trembling, overcome by happiness,
as once, when I saw the Goddess in my prayers
eclipsing Cyprus.



Sappho, fragment 102
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Mother, how can I weave,
so overwhelmed by love?



Sappho, fragment 10
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I lust!
I crave!
Take me!


Around the same time Sappho was writing in ******, in nearby Greece, circa 564 B.C., we have another poem about the power of Eros:

Ibykos Fragment 286
translation by Michael R. Burch

Come spring, the grand
apple trees stand
watered by a gushing river
where the maidens’ uncut flowers shiver
and the blossoming grape vine swells
in the gathering shadows.

Unfortunately
for me
Eros never rests
but like a Thracian tempest
ablaze with lightning
emanates from Aphrodite;
the results are frightening―
black,
bleak,
astonishing,
violently jolting me from my soles
to my soul.



I hate Eros! Why does that gargantuan God dart my heart, rather than wild beasts? What can a God think to gain by inflaming a man? What trophies can he hope to win with my head?
―Alcaeus of Messene, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Have mercy, dear Phoebus, drawer of the bow, for were you not also wounded by love’s streaking arrows?
―Claudianus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In Greek mythology, Cupid shoots Phoebus Apollo to make him fall in love with Daphne, then shoots Daphne with an arrow that prevents her from falling in love with her suitor.



Matchmaker Love, if you can’t set a couple equally aflame, why not ***** out your torch?
―Rufinus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



I have armed myself with wisdom against Love;
he cannot defeat me in single combat.
I, a mere mortal, have withstood a God!
But if he enlists the aid of Bacchus,
what odds do I have against the two of them?
―Rufinus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Love, if you aim your arrows at both of us impartially, you’re a God, but if you favor one over the other, you’re the Devil!
―Rufinus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Either put an end to lust, Eros, or else insist on reciprocity: abolish desire or heighten it.
―Lucilius or Polemo of Pontus, loose translation by Michael R. Burch



Steady your bow, Cypris, and at your leisure select a likelier target ... for I am too full of arrows to take another wound.
―Archias, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cypris was another name for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Here the poet may be suggesting, “Like mother, like son.”



Little Love, lay my heart waste;
empty your quiver into me;
leave not an arrow unshot!
Slay me with your cruel shafts,
but when you’d shoot someone else,
you’ll find yourself out of ammo!
―Archias, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



You say I should flee from Love, but it’s hopeless!
How can a man on foot escape from a winged creature with unerring accuracy?
―Archias, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Many centuries later, poets would still be complaining about the overpoweringness of ****** desire, and/or the unfairness of unrequited love, by which they often meant not getting laid!



Spring
by Charles d’Orleans
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Young lovers,
greeting the spring
fling themselves downhill,
making cobblestones ring
with their wild leaps and arcs,
like ecstatic sparks
drawn from coal.

What is their brazen goal?

They grab at whatever passes,
so we can only hazard guesses.
But they rear like prancing steeds
raked by brilliant spurs of need,
Young lovers.


Fast-forwarding again, we find the great Scottish poet William Dunbar, who was born around 1460:

Sweet Rose of Virtue
by William Dunbar
translation by Michael R. Burch

Sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness,
delightful lily of youthful wantonness,
richest in bounty and in beauty clear
and in every virtue that is held most dear,
except only that you are merciless.

Into your garden, today, I followed you;
there I saw flowers of freshest hue,
both white and red, delightful to see,
and wholesome herbs, waving resplendently,
yet everywhere, no odor but rue.

I fear that March with his last arctic blast
has slain my fair rose of pallid and gentle cast,
whose piteous death does my heart such pain
that, if I could, I would compose her roots again,
so comforting her bowering leaves have been.

Keywords/Tags: Eros, Cupid, Phoebus Apollo, Cypris, Aphrodite, love, blind love, cute love, love god, love goddess, bow, arrow, arrows, desire, passion, lust, heart
selina Mar 28
looking for your face
in the rays of ephemeral light
surely you must be golden

listening for your name
in the songs on my radio
the words pass by soft and slow

images of the calm before calamity
like waves rolling over to riptides
my heart drops, thunders, and shakes

understanding as never been my forte
love has yet to approach me and stay
mr. cupid must have forgotten an arrow
Chloe Mar 24
Someone who means a great deal to me once said that you can’t find love. You can’t go searching for it, it finds you. It finds you out of nowhere and once it’s there you can’t ignore it. I thought that was a cute way of putting things and continued on with life, waiting for love to find me. But then I got impatient and tried to find it on my own, but it never happened. I was terrified of relationships for some unknown reason or past trauma, and I never found it. Until it found me.
It steamrolled me completely out of nowhere and I didn’t see it coming. It was the worst and best thing that ever happened to me because it was beautiful to feel so deeply for someone and not feel any fear to let myself fall. For my best friend, someone I could spend hours talking to.
Only you didn’t feel it too. Apparently you can ignore it, or maybe fate is sick and twisted and Cupid only hit me.
So I love you. I love you and I can’t stop and it absolutely ***** because you don’t feel the same way for me. I know even if you did we’d never work out and yet if you sat me down and tried to convince me of all the reasons we would always be wrong for each other and never right, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
Trust me, I wish I could. I wish I hated you instead, or just didn’t care at all.
But I can’t stop. You could break my heart ten times over and I wouldn’t be able to stop. I don’t understand why but it’s just a fact.
I’ll always wonder why I’m not good enough or if maybe you’ll ever change your mind.
Maybe one day I’ll stop, finally get over it, but for now I’m stuck here never being able to get over you. I can’t move on, I can’t stop hurting, I can’t stop loving you. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel this way about someone again, or if I manage to get over you if I even want to, because I don’t ever want to be crushed like this again.
Because I love you. And you don’t love me.
Just me imaging I’m the lead in a Hallmark movie and this is the ******. 😅 it would **** to love someone who didn’t love me back though, unrequited love is so tragic. So are the run on sentences in this. At least I’m only suffering from run on sentences 😂
Hammad Mar 19
My Heart
was like a
fragile
S
  p
   a
     r
      r
       o
       w
      
And You,
(The cupid)
How Cruel of you
when you didn't flinch,
drew the bow
and Shot
your
A
  r
    r
      o
         w
ʟᴏᴠᴇ ɪꜱ ꜰᴀᴋᴇ,
ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ,
ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ɪꜱ ꜰᴀᴋᴇ,
ɴᴏᴛ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ᴋɪɴᴅꜱ;
ᴊᴰᴍ Apr 2013
Dizzy as a blemished work of art a hollow shell my soul screams
With wings as black as a raven, Cupid was perched on a burning tree
With laughter, he hissed music, my friend?
then pulled out a harp with chains at the end
The air became thick as fog slithered in
then Cupid began to sing

Once together now torn apart I am not your enemy
she was the one who broke your heart and cost you everything
So hear me strum my lonely harp and speak of your misery
Make your soul mine to keep and her life shall end immediately


With a wave of his hand, I crumpled to my knees
Next thing I knew he leaped to the sky and vanished behind the trees
With wings as black as a raven, I sing the song of Cupid
Cupid and the burning tree
© JDMaraccini 2013
Marisela Veludo Dec 2020
A constant stare, while its on the table
Not a blink from me, I feel unstable
I hear nothing, no sudden vibration
No flickering, no notification

On the palm of my hand
A sense of you getting closer
My words were not planned
I'm sorry, please say its not over

Feeling numb
Exhausted and stupid
A destroyer of good
A demolisher of cupid

Thought of loosing you is crippling
Can't bear my thoughts, its sickening
End my agony, let me explain
I need to feel you, or will go insane.
manal Dec 2020
cupid’s arrow aimed at my frontal—
cortex,

cupid’s arrow aimed for my brain, not my—
chest,

i did not see it coming (too fast for the eye can see)
trembling— with cupid’s bow in my hands:

"Am I the really real me?"

feeling my cerebral fluids leaking—
i’m seeking—
the truth,

"But what is the cost?"

your life you will lose.
My-Girl Nov 2020
A sunflower from me to you
It is not much, but
I am sure it will do.

This is a bit corny
And a little cliche, but
This is what I do when I express my feelings.

When a certain person feels a different way.
They get a single flower not a whole bouquet.
This is to tell the other person that:
‘To the world they may be one, but
To them they are one big world.’

Cupid is blind, yes we know.
And he surprises people when he plays around with his bow and arrow.
You may never know whom you might fall for.
All you know is that you got struck by an abstract called love.

So you get a single sunflower,
And without expecting anything at all
You say to that person…

“Anodiwa shamwari, iri ruva kubva kwandiri kwauri, nekuti ... ini ndaida kuti iwe uzive kuti ndinokuda iwe kupfuura zvaunoziva.”

So this shouldn't change anything,
Especially how you see me.
I am still the same person as I was yesterday.

I do not wish to be with you.
We are not right for each other.

I just wanted to give you what grew in my garden.
This sunflower is to not be watered, but
Left to die.
Discard it if you must.
It is just a sunflower… nothing special.

- My-Girl
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