Sunday, November 26, 2006

One of my favorite poems

Leda and the Swan, by W.B. Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By his dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
How can anybody, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins, engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

One of the things I like about this is the way that it presents the stark inevitability of the story -- from Helen's conception, we go to the "broken wall, the burning roof and tower/And Agamemnon dead." It's just so beautifully done.

The cat is objecting to my typing and I should go (I'm jarring him slightly everytime I move, and he gets this look in his eye. Could I be any more of a tim'rous beastie?).

In other news, I want this. Anyone got 60,000 Euros lying around? I could be your hermit-for-hire.

1 comment:

momeester said...

And I just finished the Achilles book!

I loved how she got everything into a very short book, Helen, Achilles, Hades, Thetis ...