Archives - May 2012

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May. 8

The Greeks

54

Leda and the Swan

One of my favorite William Butler Yeats's poems is his "Leda and the Swan."  In Greek myth, Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces Leda, thus fathering Helon Troy (whose abduction started the Trojan War) and Clytemnestra, (Agamemnon's wife and murderer).  Yeats thought of Zeus's appearance to Leda as a type of annunciation, like the angel appealing to Mary.  Mary and Leda are both theotokos (god carriers).

 

A sudden blow:  the great wings beating still

Above the staggering girl, her thighs caresses

By the 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?

And how can body, laid in that white rush,

But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

 

A shudder in the loins engenders there ...

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Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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