According to the gruesome Greek myth, Procrustes was a smith by trade who robbed and murdered his victims by measuring and fitting them on his iron beds by either stretching them or cutting off their legs. He was captured by Theseus who fittingly punished him by “measuring” him on his own bed. The photo is of a Greek amphora depicting Procrustes with one of his victims.
PROCRUSTEAN LABOR OF LOVE
Day after passing day, seated at my desk
With pen in hand, I begin my benign
Procrustean labor: measuring and cutting
Line after line of sound, form and meaning;
Not with any cruelty or malice, but with love,
To fit the measured bed of poetic form.
(“Procrustean Labor of Love” © 2012 PoeticMeditations. All rights reserved.)