Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mythical Flocks of Polyphemus

Of this land, strangely naïf 

Bigger than life shepherd’s 
So far away yet so near 

Next to cyclopean walls 
Stony grey and white 

Sheep perambulating on 
Flank of olive covered hill 

No wonder all seems 
Incongruous, innocent— 

No man’s lie ends here. 


  1. A fine example of the sort of poem to be found here, one that trips with the innocent simplicity of a lamb over hidden pitfalls.

    Guided by what we have learned from that map of wrong turns called History, our sympathy must always lie with poor primitive, mythic Greek shepherd Polyphemus -- outwitted, befuddled and tricked by the bourgeois Man of Enlightenment, who traps him with instrumental reason (not to mention strong drink).

    Small wonder he falls into the pit of word-games -- Huuklye and Cinquor all over again.

    No man's lie begins here.

    No wonder all seems incongruous, innocent -- it is the morning after.

    Hung over, broken, disillusioned, blinded by the lies of rationality and ideology, let us somehow attempt to begin again.

  2. (By the by, Vassilis, have I told you about that time I hung out with Polyphemus on the Isle of Rhodes?? Between the two of us, we had three eyes. It was a time of sharing, as I recall. And then Guy Davenport said...)

  3. Thanks, Tom, for all the above and above all, for your gracious treatment of the greatest classical shepherd of all—the much spoken of (much maligned?) Polyphemus—and for your account of your Rhodian escapades with him. Three eyes between the two of you isn’t bad at all but I have to remind you that when I was still in grade school, my “buddies” were already calling me by that affectionate term “four-eyes”.

    BTW, a mere Cyclopean’s stone’s throw away (15 km) due south from the Milk and Honey House stands a cheese factory bearing our friend’s name—outstanding products—take this man’s word for it.

  4. strangely naif/ Bigger than life

    I love the tenderness of this (and that near rhyme too).

    TC has things pegged here, I think.

  5. Thanks for dropping by again (and for the discerning ear). Not too many things miss TC's eye--and he's got two!


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