Helen In Egypt, Eidolon, Book Iii: 4 Poem by Hilda Doolittle

Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Helen In Egypt, Eidolon, Book Iii: 4

Rating: 3.2


<i>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.'</i>

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?

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Ratnakar Mandlik 02 April 2019

Intriguing details about Helen of troy discussed.

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Rajnish Manga 02 April 2017

How much reality and how much myth is there when we talk about Helen. So many questions remain unanswered but her sensuous beauty had the kings vying for her hand. Thanks.

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Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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