I chose to show a similar poem to “The Legend of Hypermnestra” because the poem “Fire” reminded me so much of the legend. I will be using a translated version of the legend since at the time we did not have the pages for “The Legend of Hypermnestra.”
“Fire” by Nikita Gill
“Remember what you must do
when thy undervalue you,
when they think
your softness is your weakness,
when they treat your kindness like it is their advantage.
that sleeps inside you
and you remind them
what hell looks like
when it wears the skin
of a gentle human.”
In the first stanza, I am reminded by the legend the most when Hypermnestra is first described, “//That Hypermnestra cannot handle a knife//” I saw this as them underestimating Hypermnestra. I am also reminded when after the wedding Hypermnestra’s father comes and tells her to kill her husband. Her father expected her to be soft and impressionable to him so she would do as she was told not realizing that her weakness was her strength to save her husband.
This poem and legend were a visual that not every stong woman has to wield a sword or have a way with words to be strong. A strong woman does not have to take a stand against an army to be considered strong. This poem shows that you can be kind and gentle and still be strong to stand up against something hurtful. This legend is showing us that we do not have to stand against an army but to stand where we feel like we should even if it is against our family.
(Davis and Rupi)
This quote/poem felt like it could be applied to the whole of “The Legend of Good Women.” It can also be applied to “The Book of the City of Ladies” since they are both showing that women are good, strong, smart, and brave even though others (men) are saying that they are not any of those things.
Davis, Sarah S., and Nikita Gill. “25 Feminist Poems to Provoke and Inspire Nasty Women.” BOOK RIOT, 1 Apr. 2019, https://bookriot.com/2019/04/02/feminist-poems/.
Davis, Sarah S., and Rupi Kaur. “25 Feminist Poems to Provoke and Inspire Nasty Women.” BOOK RIOT, 1 Apr. 2019, https://bookriot.com/2019/04/02/feminist-poems/.