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Poetry by Charles Moffat
Existentialism, Romance and Psychology
There are three things all poets talk about: Death, love and the meaning of life. This observation is no less true for Charles Moffat, a Canadian writer, artist and also a prolific poet who lives in Toronto.
In Moffat's poems he frequently uses metaphors or key words to get his meaning across. "Gossamer Lies" for example aludes to the idea that the lies are see-through and the poem itself deals with a tragic suicide of a doctor and how it effected the psyche of the doctor's only daughter.
Moffat's poetic works also sometimes appears in his fictional work, as he is apt at sneaking both poetry, riddles and love letters into his novels and short stories.
He uses the poetry in his fictional work as a narrative device to provide a metaphor for the characters/plot, or sometimes as a riddle pertaining to the plot itself.
Moffat's love letters are also quite poetic, not only because he has studied formal letter writing and traditional love letters, but also because he is a true romantic at heart.
Apparently romance isn't dead. Even his one poem "Romance on a Stick" deals with the topic of whether romance is dead and he even questions whether it can also be a commodity. Would people pay for romance?
His poetry also sometimes compliments his artistic work. For example his painting "Persephone and the Pomegranate" goes quite well with the poem of the same name. Likewise roses, succubi, romance/sexuality also feature in his artistic works.
Moffat's poetic works can be grouped into several categories:
His existential works frequently deal with life, death, meaning, purpose, suicide (something he is adamantly against).
His political poetry deal more with concepts of patriotism, ignorance, warmongering and power struggles. (Moffat is also a pacifist.) ie. Naked in the Desert
His psychological works deal with largely with men, violence, loneliness, sexual lust and animal magnetism/metaphors. ie. Man's Evil Ego
In Moffat's romantic poetry he frequently uses romantic symbolism, such as roses and dancing. ie. Desolate Roses on Sunswept Gales
Sometimes he just writes whimsical poetry which has no real special meaning beyond saying something simple like thank you. ie. Thanx for the Raisin Cookies
One of his most important poems is The Sumerian Legend of Lilith, a poem which he re-translated from Hebrew because the original translation was poorly done and he felt it needed more poetic justice.
Moffat has held various titles in poetry clubs in Toronto, and retired from club administration in 2012. However in February 2014 he returned to become the new president of the Toronto Poetry Club - which had to be restarted because the old president deleted it and all the contact info for club members was lost.
In February 2012 Moffat published his first poetry book: "a dream of unfettered roses" which is available on Kobo for $2.99. See "a dream of unfettered roses" on Kobo. The book was also available on Amazon Kindle from February 2012 to January 2015, but Moffat has since decided to remove it from Amazon.
Moffat's newest book is Dreaming of Zen Archery, which went on sale on February 10th 2015 on Kobo.
Atalanta and the Prophecy of Orpheus
By Charles Moffat
Atalanta was the daughter of Iasus, a proud Arcadian king
To a huntsman she was given, to take to the mountains to die
The she-bear suckled Atalanta and she grew strong and wild
One day Atalanta was found by a band of Amazon hunters with bows
With the aid of the hunters Atalanta learned to hunt with bow and arrow
The Amazons worshipped Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and full moon
Her oath was later put to the test when she was reunited with her father
Seeing her birthmark as she pulled her bow, Iasus realized what had been done
Not long after Iasus sought to see Atalanta married, hoping for grandchildren
One such man was Meleager, who though married lusted for her and did adore
Meleager insisted that Atalanta as the first archer should be given the boar skin
Atalanta rebuffed them all, and in his lust and his rage Meleager slew his uncles
She took a log and charmed it with the lifeforce of Meleager
But Atalanta saw what was happening and jumped to his rescue
Knowing that her father sought for Atalanta to break her vow
The Argonauts sailed forth on their quest for the Golden Fleece
As the only female aboard her oath was put to the test by the ship's crew
Not wanting to break her vow, Atalanta decided to leave after the battle of Colchis
Orpheus had gone to the underworld seeking his dead wife so strongly did his love burn
Unable to die it was not long before Orpheus lost his head
And so it was that Atalanta sought out the head of Orpheus to hear what he said
Orpheus took one look at the young woman and knew how it would happen
Atalanta scoffed at this for she was faster than a deer running free
She returned to her father in Arcadia and found herself feeling lonely
King Iasus saw her sorrow and after much prying she revealed the answer
But this act angered Artemis and to the king she sent a priestess
The goddess appeased, the word spread that losing was more than mere disgrace
On the day of the race only one man showed up, a young man called Hippomenes
In his pockets he carried three golden apples given to him with instructions
During the race he threw the golden apples, counting on Atalanta's greed
Each time he threw an apple Atalanta fell further and further behind
Atalanta was bemused at the young man's triumph and found herself lusting for him
With a flagon of wine Atalanta and Hippomenes made love by the river bank
Displeased Artemis spied them and was affronted by their loud frolics
Angered by their noises the goddess transformed the transfixed lovers
So wild with their passions they did not notice their newfound shapes
Happy and content Atalanta and Hippomenes lingered in the mountains
On the slopes of Olympus Atalanta and Hippomenes linger still