Eros. a poem by Olga Stein


Angels and demons aren’t mere folklore and myth;
Freud said they are signs of our unfulfilled yearnings.
Stories of gods who are wanton or wrathful
Recreate our frustrations and deep-seated longings—
Discontents that puncture civilizational veneers, 
Shake the so-called foundations of millennial faiths,
And rattle the shackles of psychic wraiths 
Who pattern and shape our subliminal fears.

Either praised or reviled Eros has been
Since Helen’s amour was decried as obscene
By those dreading excess—theologians, logicians,
And, oddly, some addled metaphysicians.

Eros, munificent spirit or godhead,
Let your turbulence keep me aloft for a spell.
Let me be carried on unrepressed ardor
And let my pen venture, indifferent to censure.

Eros is linked to ungovernable emotions,
Which arise from below the transverse plane,
A line that separates body and spirit,
faculties rendering one sane or insane.
Our inferior parts — not the ego, but id
Is humanity’s bane, Freud famously claimed.
When you’re witness to chaos and ruination,
Both Eros and id are sure to be blamed.

Puckish Eros, my friend, help me fly without scruple,
Oblivious of divisions betwixt the sacred and profane.
Let others decide — the distinction is subtle, and
I’ve always found them to be one and the same.

Eros, quickening, lightening-strike passion,
Let me mount and ride you through blistering fire,
Harness the power that’ll compel me to fashion
Stanzas that scorch with unbridled desire.

Uncommon texts tap transcendent emotions
Of terror and awe, and of love unrestrained.
Sublime depictions are true evocations 
Of spirits immortal and forces untamed.
Amor begets madness, most will object;
It dazes, shakes, then emboldens its subject
To do, say, or write words that others abjure.
Yet Eros rewards those eschewing a cure.
Those resolved not to spurn her will ride without fear,
Over sky-piercing summits, across surging oceans,
Toward the sun’s searing brightness, and on —
To gaze on aeonian motions of celestial spheres.

Eros, my wild one, let the world spin past.
Let me mount you and ride
Without saddle or rein. 
Only let me hold fast to your rough heady mane.

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Olga Stein holds a PhD in English, and is a university and college instructor. She has taught writing, communications, modern and contemporary Canadian and American literature. Her research focuses on the sociology of literary prizes. A manuscript of her book, The Scotiabank Giller Prize: How Canadian is now with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Stein is working on her next book, tentatively titled, Wordly Fiction: Literary Transnationalism in Canada. Before embarking on a PhD, Stein served as the chief editor of the literary review magazine, Books in Canada, and from 2001 to 2008 managed the in Canada First Novel Award (now administered by Walrus magazine). Stein herself contributed some 150 reviews, 60 editorials, and numerous author interviews to Books in Canada (the online version is available at A literary editor and academic, Stein has relationships with writers and scholars from diverse communities across Canada, as well as in the US. Stein is interested in World Literature, and authors who address the concerns that are now central to this literary category: the plight of migrants, exiles, and the displaced, and the ‘unbelonging’ of Indigenous peoples and immigrants. More specifically, Stein is interested in literary dissidents, and the voices of dissent, those who challenge the current political, social, and economic status quo. Stein is the editor of the memoir, Playing Under The Gun: An Athlete’s Tale of Survival in 1970s Chile by Hernán E. Humaña.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

3 thoughts on “Eros. a poem by Olga Stein

  1. Eros” decorated with classical references conveys a powerful message. Inspires one to express the emotions it touches


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