At Salamis, they say, you found
the ocean. They say, as a youth,
you wrote from the pack of other
and wrote for nothing.
At the Festivals your dramas
won nothing, yet the populace
applauded others.
Embittered, they say, you embraced your cave
in the cliffs at Salamis
and made, like Melville, a pact
with the sea.
Made Hippolytus of a wave,
Dionysus of storm,
and of seashell and sand, Pentheus:
all ageless, all changing as water.
And that pagan, Socrates, they say,
would see no other play but yours,
so did he hold the sea.
Alas! old master, comfort me —
I write from the pack of other
and make no pact with the sea.