Have you seen the jack in the green?
June 27, 2012 9:21 PM   Subscribe

Help me remember a long forgotten poem, Hive Mind! Here's what I remember: spring, a man growing horns and hooves, a fall into roots, red thread.

Sometime in the past 3 years or so, I remember reading a wonderful poem, but I cannot for the life of me recall enough of it to Google. What I mostly remember is the image of a man growing horns out of his head, much like Cernunnos, and getting tangled somehow (possibly in his own newly sprouted hooves?), and falling or tripping into the snarled roots of a tree-- although all these images may have been suggested rather than said outright. I also have some vague suggestion that red thread was involved somehow? And it was almost definitely set in the springtime. The poem itself was very distinct: the man growing horns seemed to find his whole situation slightly amusing, and the entire thing had a tremendous mythic quality.

It was by a poet I'd never heard of before, and I'm fairly well-versed in the older classics (so not Yeats, or Auden, or Byron, or anyone like that). It was written-- I think-- in free form, and although small portions of it rhymed, not all of it did. It was online, not in a book.

I loved it a lot, and I promise that, if you help me find it, I'll write down this time! Thank you in advance!
posted by WidgetAlley to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
On the off chance that it was here, here's a poem recommendation thread.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:36 PM on June 27, 2012

Possibly a version of the Actaeon myth? But whose telling or retelling I couldn't say.
posted by steef at 6:22 AM on June 28, 2012

The "red thread" might be a reference to "Ariadne" in Greek mythology.
posted by luciddream928 at 5:53 PM on June 28, 2012

I can't say i know what the poem is, but the reference to red thread might have something to do with Crete, the Labyrinth and Theseus and Ariadne, while the protagonist growing hooves and such might turn out to be the Minotaur. There's a story by Borges, though it doesn't quite match your memories.

Ariadne gave Theseus a clue of red thread, by which he might find his way out of the Labyrinth of her father, King Minos. He had to go in there to fight the Minotaur, a human-bull hybrid, at it's centre. There's a few modern stories that recast this by having sympathy for the Minotaur rather than Theseus the Greek hero, instead of seeing the Minotaur as some kind of terrible monster.
posted by glasseyes at 6:08 PM on June 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone who's taken a stab thus far. I do remember enough to remember that it was definitely NOT Greek-inspired, that I could tell. It was much more like the narrator was "going wodwo" or turning into a green man.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:15 AM on June 29, 2012

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