Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Romulus

is for Romulus

Small Mercies

Remus and Romulus were the twins
said to have founded Rome, the linchpins 
of legends and intrigue -
Romulus ahead by a league.
A wild creature  by them through thick and thin.

Both the brothers when infants were orphaned
helpless babes in river and woods abandoned
a she-wolf came a-slinking
and I know what you’re thinking
but preparest thou to be now thoroughly stunned.

She didn’t make mincemeat out of the babies,
she didn’t chew them up or give them rabies;
she gave milk and mother-love
and brought them straight up
to know their numbers and their Latin AB’s.

But then the story gets murky, coz sibling
rivalry spares no-one, they got quibbling
Remus liked a different hill
and Romulus fought to kill,
didn’t believe in some casual nibbling.

And so Rome was founded by one twin
the survivor brother who did the other in.
In plain words - fratricide
though legend doesn’t deride,
or call this dubious act a terrible sin.

Quite clear that it took a long time to build
From orphaned twins to getting a sibling killed
That is why they say
Rome wasn’t built in a day
years to the finish from when first pencilled.

I’ll bet you’ve never thought  – cause no one does -
It’s so long ago so why make a pointless fuss?
But think - if it so happened
the clash had a different end
then Rome wouldn’t be Rome, but named for Remus.

The Rose may Remain a Rose, that which we call Rome (okay, the Limericking's over now, there's no need to Rhyme endlessly!) would probably smell quite different.  What do you think? Do names shape the people/places? Or do the individuals/cities beat their names into shape?  How important is a name? Would the rose petal smell as sweet if it were called popocatepetl instead?

Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2016 


  1. Oh dear, what's in a name. Honestly, my first thought was Trump. I'm thinking he's the reincarnation of Remus, here to get his revenge. When I heard this morning the announcement of 'the most beautiful woman in the world'. I looked at my husband in disbelief and said, Trump will be the next President. OMG
    Not to take away from the person chosen, but are there no accomplished women, beautiful women inside and out that would better qualify? I know stupid question. Sorry, it's late, I'm completely off topic, and I have a hundred blogs to visit. LOL
    Just ignore my last 2 paragraphs! :)
    Wishing you health and happiness!

    1. OMG from my side too. Cheer up Yolanda - you guys at least have a say in who gets to be POTUS. We the general world can only wring our hands in agony/ROFLOAO, though I think nobody is ROF anymore. If he is really Remus, why isn't he going and plaguing the Italians? They have more practice in dealing with reincarnations from hell. :)

      You can be as off topic as you like over here, you've earned the right, and no need for any apologies. Have a great Thursday!

  2. Oh, I believe a name of a thing can influence it greatly. I'm loving your limericking, so much so, that I've dragged you into the EOS Behind the Scenes Q edition! Hope you enjoy your visit to Viridis:)

    The AtoZ of EOS

    1. Thank you, your posts are, what can I say? Out of this world! Over to yours in a short while..thanks for visiting.

  3. Lovely post, Nilanjana. Your limerick sent me back to my teaching days. We had a Roman Day and as part of the story time, we read the story of Romulus and Remus (obviously it was a kiddi version). Thank you for a lovely, thought provoking post.

    1. I remember learning that kiddie version story at school too! I learned it twice over, once as a kid story and then in history as a founding legend. Thanks for being here

  4. Names are quite important. Often they give something or someone a feeling of the center of their identity.

  5. This story I knew! Thanks to all the Rick Riordan books I've read! Names do matter a lot! What was that strange name you suggested for the Rose? No I like my rose just fine no name changes for it or anytig else....what's with folks renaming all cities in India?!
    @KalaRavi16 from

    1. Yeah, I don't like name changes either...especially of cities! Names have a history. Changing that without sound Reasons seems pointless, a lot of unnecessary upheavals and a Regrettable waste of energy. Gurugram indeed!

  6. As a writer I am so particular about names--they mean so much. I love the story of Remus and Romulus. I have seen sculptures of this legend and they are so intriguing.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    1. Yes, this has been represented in art and literature quite widely throughout the ages. So many different takes on orphans 'brought up' by wolves/animals.

  7. If only I'd been taught history this way! Another cracker.Thanks for pointing out my unexplained R word. A robinet is in fact a cannon!

    Keith's Ramblings : My A-Z story features 6 neglected R words

    1. Ah, I suspected some such :) not related to the cute birdie I see...thanks much for clarifying!

  8. Loved the poem. Combined my two favourite things poetry and history.

    1. The lines between history, mythology, legend and mystery get quite blurred in this case, which is what well behaved lines should be doing mostly :)

  9. "[S]he didn’t chew them up or give them rabies." I love your way with words!

    1. Well, the illustration in the kiddie book looked completely rabid, from what I can remember, which I'll freely admit is dim. Very dim :)

  10. Love this poem. Always loved the story of Remus and Romulus.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

  11. R is for radical
    Keep 'em coming

  12. Very clever poem. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Kalpanaa. Thanks for being here

  13. Hi Nila - yes a great poem with so many ideas in it ... I could add so much more - but your thoughts re naming things - since Linnaeus' time ... so many are linked together and we can decipher so much from names ... especially here in Britain ... it makes life fun - when we get down to look - and then realise our thoughts hadn't occurred to us!

    Cheers Hilary