William F Dougherty

(West Hartford, CT)

A Thousand Ships


Yes, Leda, you may swim
the pond with just your name on:
hang your tunic on an olive limb
and toss a crust to that swan.

Submitted: Friday, June 01, 2012
Edited: Saturday, June 02, 2012

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Comments about this poem (A Thousand Ships by William F Dougherty )

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  • Jim Hogg (12/1/2012 6:24:00 AM)

    A deceptively simple quatrain that conceals a thousand complexities. The two comments below are a worthy bonus. (Report) Reply

  • William F Dougherty (6/11/2012 8:38:00 PM)

    It is Homeric. Zeus (the swan) impregnates Leda, whence springs Helen of Troy, the Iliad, etc.,
    and the famous line: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? Bare-assed girl ignited
    the foundations of Western Lit. (See Leda and the Swan by Yeats.) Not much gets past you. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

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