Monday, April 07, 2008

Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan
William Butler Yeats
Leda and the Swan (1924)

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
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
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

Related posts on Jurisdynamics
  1. Cosmological convergence: Insofar as Leda's union with Zeus in the form of a swan produces Helen, the legend of Leda and the swan represents the first chapter of the story of the Trojan War.

  2. Pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart: Aeschylus's Agamemnon recounts one of the many tragic consequences of the Trojan War.

  3. Inmaculada: As William Butler Yeats's own subtitle suggests, Leda and the Swan is a variation on the theme known to Christians as the Annunciation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to go take a cold shower.

4/08/2008 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

painter fred einaudi has a slightly more graphic take on the story:

7/24/2008 7:25 PM  

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