Pandora's Box

Here's a fun poem for kids telling the story of the Ancient Greek myth of the first woman, Pandora, and the forbidden box.

According to the story, Pandora was created by the gods as part of a plot to let Zeus get his revenge on the family of his enemy Prometheus (who had stolen fire from the gods to give to the humans).

Zeus gives Pandora and Epimetheus a wedding present - a locked box that must never be opened. Will the young couple be able to overcome their curiosity?  

Of course not.

We hope you enjoy this poem, and after reading it, scroll down to find out a little more about the background of the myth.



Pandora's Box
A poem by Paul Perro

According to old Greek legends
There once was a time when
There were no women in the world,
There were only men.

That is, until the mighty Zeus
Went to see Hephaestus one day,
And ordered him to make
A woman out of clay.

They named the woman Pandora 
And breathed her full of life,
Then gave her to a young man named
Epimetheus, as his wife.

But Zeus was not really being nice,
He had a wicked plan.
His enemy Prometheus  
Was the brother of the young man.

Zeus gave them a box with a key,
Then he sternly decreed
That they must never look inside.
The young couple agreed.

Now Zeus thought Epimetheus,
Despite this conversation,
Would be unable to withstand
The terrible temptation.

In fact it was Pandora who
Gave in to curiosity.
She quietly crept, as her husband slept,
And from him, took the key.

The box held many nasty things,
Unknown to Pandora,
And all of them could fly, which she
Discovered to her horror.


She unlocked and opened the box 
And the first to escape was rage,
Followed by pain, then jealousy,
Disappointment, greed and old age.

Out flew measles, mumps, rubella,
Bubonic plague, chicken pox,
Leprosy, hepatitus B,
All escaped from Pandora's box.

Pandora was shocked and appalled, 
What on earth had she done?
Soon all of the things had escaped,
...all, that is, except one.

As she peered into the box, 
She slowly became aware,
A little thing called "hope"
Was still trapped in there.

Pandora sighed and let it go. 
She knew, if there was hope,
Then no matter what else happened,
The human race could cope.





About the Myth

The word "box" is a mistranslation - in the original Greek, Pandora was actually given a large storage jar, not a box.  However, today, almost everybody refers to Pandora's box, not Pandora's jar.

You might notice that there are similarities between the story of Pandora and the story of Eve in Genesis - both were the first woman, both succumbed to the temptation of curiosity, both were responsible for all the bad things in the world.  Perhaps the retelling of the stories were influenced by each other when the Ancient Greeks conquered the world.



Back to Myths and Legends


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