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Rating: 3.3

All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,

remembering past enchantments
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Jerome Peterson 22 August 2006

I start out my advanced ESL class by projecting a page from my Poetry Speaks day calendar for that day. For September 9 I find a biography of H.R., so I sought a short poem for the class to read. I found Helen, which couldn't be more apropos. The sentiment is very clear and set forth in imagery that is sharp, a signature of H.R. Helen won the hatred of the Greeks for past enchantments and past ills, and the Greeks could love her only if she were burned in a funeral pyre. Aaargg.

8 6 Reply
Rose Kanana 02 April 2017

Great piece thanks for sharing

4 3 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 02 April 2017

When she smiles..... thanks for posting....

3 3 Reply
Tamara Beryl Latham 02 April 2020

Helen brings Homer's Iliad to life for readers who are not familiar with Greek mythology. Nicely penned, Hilda. : -)

0 0 Reply
Tamara Beryl Latham 02 April 2020

No place to vote, Helen.

0 0 Reply
Mountain Man 02 April 2020

Reminds me of a Scottish lady named Helen..

1 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 02 April 2020

Greece sees, unmoved, God's daughter, born of love, the beauty of cool feet and slenderest knees, very fine poem

3 0 Reply
HB Rita 04 April 2019

Helen of Troy......Her beauty is a tragedy. Wonderful poem

2 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 02 April 2019

The deep sentiments of hatred about Helen in the minds of future generations in Greece marvelously described.

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HB Rita 04 April 2019

Why do you think so?

0 0 Reply