I came across Europa during my research on rape and trauma. It was incidental. She was a myth. Not the real women of war that I was reading about. One of the many theorists happened to refer to her. Allegedly, this Phoenician princess had been kidnapped by Jupiter, the ruler of Crete, and taken away to be his wife and queen. Ovid had immortalised her rape in his Metamorphoses.
I was curious. She reminded me of Leda. Her rape by Zeus (in the form of a swan) had been similarly immortalised in poetry and art over the past few centuries.
She reminded me of Raavan. The man who kidnapped Sita, but didn’t rape her. He was condemned anyway, while Sita had to prove her chastity. Twice.
She reminded me of the traumatic events I was researching and how every incident had more than just one side to it.
So in a poem, I attempted to question dominant interpretations of myths, especially by male writers, poets and/or artists.
And, what did Europa have to say? Find out.
My poem, “Europa’s Lament,” is in Black Fox Literary Magazine. Read it here (pages 11 and 12 of Issue 4). Incidentally, my photograph, “Dirty Laundry,” taken on the ghats of Varanasi, India, is also in the same issue (page 131).