Thursday, March 6, 2008

"...the world has become a museum"

Then wind cheered like a hero in the tackle of the standing ships
And hurled them bravely on the swords and lances of the wintry sea—
While wisdom turned to salt upon the broken piers.

This is the way the ministers have killed the truth,
our daughter,
Steps lead back into the rooms we fear to enter;
Our minds are bleaker than the hall of mirrors:

And the world has become a museum.

From Iphigenia: Politics by Thomas Merton, 1944. Read the complete poem here.
The myth of Iphigenia can be found here.

The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1671 (detail). Image from Rijksmuseum.


Mary said...

I love that.

Bozo said...

Wonderful story. It IS interesting that, with all the other mayhem, Iphigenia's story is not included in the Iliad, though Agamemnon certainly got his comeuppance eventually. Anybody speculate about why?

Renee said...

Because she's a girl?

WOW, that poetry is good.

BitterGrace said...

The history of the Iphigenia myth seems pretty interesting. I wish I knew more about it. Apparently, in early versions Iphigenia is not rescued. Maybe Helg will chime in here and enlighten us.

I do love the poem, too. I don't always dig Merton, but this one's incredible.