Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leda, swans, etc.






















Heinrich Lossow, 19th century. Courtesy of The Museum of Bestial Art.


Leda

Where the slow river
meets the tide,
a red swan lifts red wings
and darker beak,
and underneath the purple down
of his soft breast
uncurls his coral feet.

Through the deep purple
of the dying heat
of sun and mist,
the level ray of sun-beam
has caressed
the lily with dark breast,
and flecked with richer gold
its golden crest.

Where the slow lifting
of the tide,
floats into the river
and slowly drifts
among the reeds,
and lifts the yellow flags,
he floats
where tide and river meet.

Ah kingly kiss—
no more regret
nor old deep memories
to mar the bliss;
where the low sedge is thick,
the gold day-lily
outspreads and rests
beneath soft fluttering
of red swan wings
and the warm quivering
of the red swan's breast.


by H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), via Poetry Foundation

3 comments:

Leopoldo said...

She had a gift, did Ms. initials

Mary said...

And the result of their union was Helen of Troy!

BitterGrace said...

Leo, I'm slightly embarrassed to say I knew nothing of Ms. Initials until I found this poem. Oh, the gaps in my education...

Mary, I found some other stuff by the same artist that you won't believe. I'll put it up soon.