Hilda Doolittle

(10 September 1886 – 27 September 1961 / Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)

Helen in Egypt, Eidolon, Book III: 4


Helen herself seems almost ready for this sacrifice-at least, for the immolation of herself before this greatest love of Achilles, his dedication to 'his own ship' and the figurehead, 'an idol or eidolon . . . a mermaid, Thetis upon the prow.'

Did her eyes slant in the old way?
was she Greek or Egyptian?
had some Phoenician sailor wrought her?

was she oak-wood or cedar?
had she been cut from an awkward block
of ship-wood at the ship-builders,

and afterwards riveted there,
or had the prow itself been shaped
to her mermaid body,

curved to her mermaid hair?
was there a dash of paint
in the beginning, in the garment-fold,

did the blue afterwards wear away?
did they re-touch her arms, her shoulders?
did anyone touch her ever?

Had she other zealot and lover,
or did he alone worship her?
did she wear a girdle of sea-weed

or a painted crown? how often
did her high breasts meet the spray,
how often dive down?

Submitted: Monday, April 30, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Helen in Egypt, Eidolon, Book III: 4 by Hilda Doolittle )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. THE WRINKLED YOUNG LADY, Visato Kiso
  2. The Preacher's Wife, Effie Waller Smith
  3. The Light of Day, David Griebel
  4. FAIRY TALE PRINCESS, Visato Kiso
  5. Flowers, David Griebel
  6. Apple Sauce And Chicken Fried, Effie Waller Smith
  7. Generosity, Babatunde Aremu
  8. Futile Peace Troll, Aftab Alam
  9. Dragons, David Griebel
  10. After Reading the Song of Hiawatha, Effie Waller Smith

Poem of the Day

poet Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who'd toil'd, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Being With You, Heather Burns
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Peace. A Study, Charles Stuart Calverley
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]