Indiana University Bloomington


Megan Vinson, comparative literature

Written for CMLT-C 355: Beauty and Its Others

Instructor: Prof. Sonia Velazquez

he lay the world beneath my feet

but still I ached behind my eyes.


beneath his hands I felt myself —


why, why, why, he cried, you are the sun the moon the stars

the sweetest incense the finest pearls you are the nectar of the gods 

the sea the sky ambrosia on high — but still


something lingered within my…


at the shore, something loud within their voices

as they run with legs along the sea.

the light, the salt, the water clinging to their gauzy robes,

white as birds whirling in the air. their hair tangled

by wind of their own movements, the scent

of sweat and olives on their skin.


something… something (I forgot)


it aches behind my eyes. could I pluck them out

and stare and stare and stare

until. something


I forgot

— or neverwas.

In Metamorphosis, Galatea has no voice. She is Pygmalion’s creation. She is adored and loved by him as the perfect woman. But what does it mean to be the perfect woman? What does it mean to have your entire being created by another person? I wanted to explore the function of the poetic voice. By changing the voice, the narrative is transformed. By giving Galatea a poetic voice, there is room to reflect on her own position has a creation of another person, of having to be a perfect woman, of her adoration hinging on her ability to be perfect. When Galatea has a voice, when she is able to reflect, the narrative becomes her own.


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