A love story’s epitaph

This is the second of the little triad of snippets contained in Under this sun stands tall the hyacinthA love story’s epitaph and Beatus Hyacinthus 



All love stories are the same in essence. Every one of us thinks that ours is the most complicated, the most exalted and the most tragic. It is really not so. Love is as complicated for Nabokov’s Lolita as it is for Dumas’s Dantes. Here is a love story’s epitaph, commonplace, cliched and bitter, as is every other epitaph.


Apollo liked the language of love. And he liked some words in that language more than he liked others. So it was that he always bid those he held precious au revoir and never adieu. One was temporary and the other an end.

He did not do adieus. They said he had will enough to have the sun rise in the west. And he willed that he would not do adieus.

Even the most mulish of men must succumb to love at least once in their lives, and so it was with him. He willed permanence. His will had granted him everything, had it not? He trusted it would prevail, once again.

And yet, under the harsh summer sun, when he had been langorously crafting sweet odes of love, came a demand from those chapped lips he so cherished. It was a demand for adieu. He reasoned, he wept and he begged, as does every other protagonist bearing passionate regard for a beloved. Futility and despair swallowed him whole. He caved in. Thus it was that Apollo learnt to voice the word adieu. The wisdom of Apollo was wrought by tears and partings, by failure and futility, crowned by the love he bore and the adieu that was asked of him.

…and lo, at the horizon does the weeping sun kiss the bleeding sea goodbye.


51 responses

  1. I am very sorry to hear the news! My condolences. You were distraught on Wednesday after you received the latest update from his parents.Take care of yourself. I will be in touch.

    The epitaph is stunning. As is the original story which was 50, 000 words of brilliance.

    • It was purple prose. You and I know it. It was purple prose I loved writing, all the same.

      Yes, it was earlier this evening. I am sorry to be the bearer of the news to you. Take care.

      • If you go by that, Dante and Milton wrote purple prose. Your beloved Byron wrote purple prose. Purple and scarlet are the colors of our passion. Don’t think less of them.

      • Maybe yes. Sometimes I think fondly of the days where you used to rush to the readers without going through the pains of editing. It doesn’t stop feeling strange to see you doing redrafts. You’re getting old and patient, sunbeam. Careful!

  2. I know it’s a story written by you but I really rooted for Apollo to get a happier end…beautiful in a bittersweet way. Poor Apollo. Poor Hyacinth! I bet Hyacinth feels worse than Apollo!

  3. That’s not an epitaph. The sun returns to the sea everyday doesn’t it? Apollo belongs to Hyacinth the same way. Atleast that’s the way I’m comforiting myself now!

    • The sun does return to the sea everyday, and Apollo might belong to Hyacinth. Unfortunately for the poor sun which is thrown up every dawn, and for poor Apollo, Hyacinth doesn’t want anything to do with him. Ah, sorry. I got carried away. I think your idea is a very beautiful way of looking at it. Thank you!

  4. “The wisdom of Apollo was wrought by tears and partings, by failure and futility, crowned by the love he bore and the adieu that was asked of him”

  5. Apollo’s road wasn’t easy. I imagine Hyacinth found it insurmountable. He was practical. Maybe that’s why after the first burst of love he found it prudent to let go? One is left with the lingering smell of burning because poor Hyacinth did burn. Excellently written. Kudos!

    • My blushes! I am glad you like it. Did Hyacinth burn at all? Or did Apollo burn out? I feel that Hyacinth was stronger than Apollo in the matters that counted. And you are right. His road wasn’t easy at all.

      • One of the things I like the best about your protagonist is how determined he can be when he wants to move on from something. He doesn’t continue in anything that is malicious or withered beyond hope. The little captain’s flag is spun of Ecclesiastes 3. I can see that in Apollo’s story here. I saw you hinting below about more. Can we have more about Hyacinth? I want to know how he lives. Is he happy? Is he going to settle for Zephyr?

      • Our flags need to be woven from Ecc3 if we are to make it through the world. It is a cruel place for most of us, isn’t it?

        Since I wrote the original in the first person and that was from Hyacinth’s perspective, it makes it easier to write the third person from Apollo’s. I suppose that if I do write more, and I likely might, it will be again back to Hyacinth’s narration. I count on you to make it happen. You know how scatterbrained I am at times.

      • Also, this always reminds me of Hyacinth’s end to story, where Apollo says:

        “You caught me on the rising crest of Hallelujah, you swept me away to safety under swaying willows and softly bathed me in the warmest sunlight flowing in through the canopy of leaves above us. You were God, you were Love and you were Music.”

      • Apollo’s last plea to make him stay was moving…but Hyacinth’s farewell was heartrending.
        “You are God, you are Love and you are Music.You are the sun child, changeling, uncaged, spun of prayers said by candlelight in dank chapels and a thousand revolutions poured into history’s pages.’

        A coward’s love is still love.

      • You don’t write happy love. Nor do you stop writing about love. Doesn’t that mean you believe in its inevitability inside?

  6. I like your first person narration style in fiction even if I’m normally not a fan of 1st/2nd person fic. It’s just when you write it you make it so passionate and from the heart. As someone who’s seen your writing for a long time now, it’s nice to be here and watch a part of your chrysalis. From what I know of your nature you’ve got your fingers in many other pies. It feels great to watch you now and feel that I saw your beginning as a writer. Your writing has changed a lot. Even then there are some things which make it very easy for recognize your writing even now. The sun metaphor “I soar in the skies to burn for you all day and hide under the seabed to weep for you all night”… the pride “If pride is all that I have left, let pride be my shield and salvation”… the endurance metaphor “i may bend for you today, know that i will have you broken one day”… good times, dramatic writing, great plots, great characters! I miss them! Show us proud, muppet!

    • Hi! I am very happy to find someone from my sunset days here! Hello!

      It is always a pleasure to hear the opinions of those who have known my writing from its first scratches online. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am honoured to know that there are still elements in there which you can recognise easily. It makes me feel that an essential part of my writing, perhaps the core of it, has remained the same. I hope it will remain so. You remember lines from the old stories! I am humbled! I miss those times too. They were happier and easier. Thank you!

  7. The message I get is that some men(like Apollo) will be defined in life by more than whom they love. Some men on the other hand (like Hyacinth) will be defined by whom they love.

  8. epozhum rebellious! When we were in high school, you wrote about how Indians were to blame for the Raj! Ippam stage maari.

    (ente username kattal vivarum ariyum pisache!)

  9. I am coming out of a bad breakup this year. This story “The wisdom of Apollo was wrought by tears and partings, by failure and futility, crowned by the love he bore and the adieu that was asked of him.” made me cry. I will also get wiser like Apollo from this experience. Thanks for writing.

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