Poem, “Texting Iphigenia”

A text-message was discovered on an ancient iPhone found in a dumpster behind a Greek restaurant outside Athens by a group of roving teenage scavengers. The message was sent by a girl named Hermione to Iphigenia, the classic heroine, who was sacrificed so that the winds would begin in Aulis harbor, allowing the Greek ships to set sail for Troy.

Although Hermione was believed to have been illiterate, Anthropologists and Linguists both agree that the message contained some brief poetic possibilities. Upton Simpson, a philologist from Greenland, has even suggested that Hermione’s text message “most assuredly, contained a tone of formality and high seriousness.”

Here is the edited message from Hermione to Iphigenia in modern poetic form:

Rumors float like lazy air-born kites,
That Diana had too much
Time on her hands rescuing you,
Whose useful sacrifice
Breathed life into Greek sails,
Rushing, of course, your harried father
To Troy, leaving your mom
A few more nights out than even purple royalty
Could tolerate.

Orestes, your brooding brother and recluse,
Drenched your mom’s aching nipples in
Her lover’s blood, or wished he had,
Settling simply for her closed eyes
And shocked lips.

So you, the tabloids tell us,
Have found your brother
Wandering the roads of Tauris,

Both now planning, we hear in Aulis,
A cheerful sequel, hating, as you should
The memory of your parents’ desperate
Seagull cries.

Keep in touch, Love Hermione.

Here is the message in prose form:

“Rumors float like/Lazy air-born kites,/that Diana had too much time on her hands/Rescuing you,/Whose useful sacrifice/Breathed life into/Greek sails,/Rushing, of course,/Your harried father/To Troy/Leaving your mom/A few more nights out/Than even purple royalty could tolerate (First part of message). Orestes, your brooding/brother and recluse/Drenched your mom’s/Aching nipples in/Her lover’s blood,/Or wished he had/Settling simply for/her closed eyes/And shocked lips./So you, the tabloids tell us/Have found your brother/Wandering the roads of Tauris (End of Second Message) Both now planning/We hear in Aulis/cheerful sequel,/ Hating, as you should/ the memory of your/Parents’ desperate/Seagull cries. Keep in touch, Love Hermione.

The relationship between Hermione and Iphigenia is not known and keeps anthropologists baffled. Some have suggested she was a lover of Orestes. Others have suggested she may have been Iphigenia’s childhood friend.

Here is the original unedited text message:


rumors float like
Lazy air-boRn kites,
that Diana had toO much
time on herhands,
…Rescuing you,
Whose useful..acrifice
Breathed life into
…….Greek sails,
Rushing, of course,
your harried faTher
To Troy, leaving
……….y…our mom
a few more nights out
than purple RoyAlty
…..could stop

Orestes, ur brooding
brother &recluse,
drencheD your mom’s
AcHing Nipples in
her loVer’s blood,
Or wished he had,
Sett..ling, simply 4
Her closED eye…s
& shocked lipps
So u, tHe …tabloids
tell us, have foUnd
Ur bRo..ther Wandering
The rodes of Tauris

BOTh now planning
We here in AU..lis
Cherefull Seek…wel
hATING, As u should
The memory of Ur
par..ents Desprate



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