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Helen In Egypt Analysis

Author: poem of H.D. Type: poem Views: 8

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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?


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