Here’s another collection of “Writing Prompts From the Classics”—helpful inspiration from a phrase, a line, or a poetic twist by an ancient writer. Covered here are several from the ancient Greeks and Romans: Oedipus the King and Antigone by the Greek Sophocles, Lysistrata by Aristophanes, then several from the Roman Aeneid by Virgil, and finally Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I hope these are helpful in providing you some imaginative ideas as they sink into your mind and onto your paper or screen. Have fun with them, and compose away.
OEDIPUS THE KING:
- The griefs that punish us are those we've chosen for ourselves.
· you win all your battles! . . . cruising the oceans, invading homes deep in the wilds!
· no home here on earth and none down with the dead, not quite alive, not yet a corpse.
· Nursed in caves among her father’s stormwinds, this daughter of the gods, this child of Boreas, rode swift horses over the mountains
· Drawing them diagrams for decadence
· Grannies on the go, mommies with mucho macho
· her phantom sifted through my fingers
· the high sky bears witness to the wedding, nymphs on the mountaintops wail out the wedding hymn.
· an eye that never sleeps and as many tongues as eyes and as many raucous mouths and ears pricked up for news.
· The earth was rich with blood of slaughtered herds and the temple doorways wreathed with riots of flowers.
· torrents coursed down from the old Titan’s chin
· Wasting time in Libya.
· who can delude a lover?
· echoes round with maddened midnight cries
· reaped with bronze sickles under the moonlight, dripping their milky black poison
· Majestic power and erotic love do not get on together very well, nor do they linger long in the same place.
· why do you have the plumage of birds and the faces of virgins?
· the tree groaned and bent over double
· thrice the funereal owl sings his poem of endings