“When I first saw…”

orpheus and eurydice
(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation Artist:George Frederick Watts 1869

When I first saw her
she was so beautiful
I wanted to be a mirror
and hold all of her.
My eyes couldn’t do that,
much as I tried
to calm them, saying:
“Drink deep of her face.”

If I had become a lake…
A mirror is all surface
but a lake has depths.
I would have drawn her in,
undine or water nymph,
alive inside me.


This is from Orpheus & Eurydice: A Lyric Sequence by Gregory Orr. You can read about the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice here: Myth of Orpheus & Eurydice. Make sure you have tissues handy! 😥