New day, new haiku!
Yes, the Women of Myth series is ready to be continued! ^.^
Hard to believe that this is my 980th poem! I've extended the list so a lot to come now.
This haiku is about Queen Dido [aka Elissa], the legendary founding queen of Carthage, known as Tunisia today which is located in Africa, on the north-western coast. I believe her name means 'wanderer' which suits her perfectly, to be honest.
Dido's story is one that is inspirational as well as tragic. Before she became the Queen of Carthage, she was a Princess of Tyre, a city in today's Lebanon.
After her father, King Mattan passed away [In Virgil's Aeneid, the King is named Belus], he wanted his children, Dido and Pygmalion to co-rule the Kingdom. At the time, Dido was married to Sychaeus / Acerbas, High Priest [ as well as and her paternal uncle] who amassed great wealth. The moment Mattan died, Pygmalion seized power and killed the high priest to gain his wealth and riches but it was not to be as Acerbas hid his wealth which Dido found and with it, as well as a handful of supporters, she fled Tyre, sailing the Mediterranean until they ended up in the north-western coast of Africa.
Safe from her brother's wrath, she came to meet the ruler of the land, Iarbas, and sold her land that can be covered by a bull's skin. Dido was as shrewd as she was beautiful. She cleverly cut the bull's skin into strips and used to enclose land for herself and her people, to Iarbas' shock and chagrin but clearly, he was impressed and intrigued. He honoured his word and the kingdom of Carthage was founded. The king watched her from afar, noting that under her rule, the kingdom thrived and he wanted her for himself.
But Dido made a vow to herself that she will take no other man as her husband. Iarbas was not swayed. He wanted her so much that reportedly, he threatened war. Feeling trapped and wanting to keep her word, Dido took her own life. Some say by sheathing a blade into herself on the funeral pyre another, by throwing herself into the pyre itself.
In Virgil's legendary poem, Aeneid, Dido fell head over heels for the Trojan Hero, Aeneas but still, her husband had a firm place in her heart. She took her own life when he was called away, following his duty to the gods.
But to be honest, I rather prefer the original story over Virgil's. For it gives this beautifully clever and tragic queen a more well-rounded view. Though Virgil's narrative is similar and further exaggerates her tragic end through Aeneas rejecting her which majorly contributed to her end.
Dido is a fascinating character to me. She deserves every respect, this wonderful mortal queen. 🌹
Anyway, thank you all for growing followers, I'm forever humbled and grateful for the support 🙏🌹💜
Here's the link for the growing collection:https://hellopoetry.com/collection/132853/the-women-of-myth/
Be back tomorrow with another one!
Please take care of yourselves and stay safe!