No Mordred Me

Oh mother
I cannot be your Mordred
The vessel of your revenge.
Do not doubt my heart
For I could easily, for
The love of you, kill your rapist.
your burden I cannot bear
Nor can I your learning do.
My love for you is still greater,
But I cannot kill my father.



8 thoughts on “No Mordred Me

  1. Oh this is a heavy thing to carry, Eric. Fortunately, however one begins, we are ourselves, and completely who we are meant to be – we are not our parents. I admire your love for your mother. What a tragic past she had. Sigh. This hurts my heart, and I am very glad you have written it.


  2. But it’s not Hamlet, is it? He sought revenge in his mother for the murder of his father. This is Mordred, who sought revenge on his father for begetting him on his mother in a way that was wrong – incestuous in some versions of the Arthurian story. In this poem you name the wrong as rape. I don’t know if it’s autobiographical or imagined (or perhaps metaphorical in some way). In any case, you present a powerful dilemma for a son so conceived, once he is old enough to know the truth and perhaps act on it. A pity the Mordred of the story did not make the same choice as the protagonist of the poem!


    1. The imagined scenario was much nicer. One parent, wronged by another, the child the tool of the other’s revenge. interesting correlation. Mordred at least got to know his father, even if largely blinded by his contempt. I think Morganna wronged him much more than Arthur did. England would be a very different place had he chosen otherwise.


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