Leda and the Swan



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?


 We saw Michael Collins this weekend.  A good movie which gives you a great sense of the fight for Irish independence.  We’ve been to West Cork, but next time we’ll go to the town where he was killed.  Ireland is a country with a big story. When you drive around it in small cars on small roads, Ireland seems like a magical country, very thick green hills and fields.  When you’re there, you don’t want to leave.  But, I find that when I visit other countries on a writing retreat, it’s easy to romanticize the country, because I’m not working while I’m there.  When I flew into Los Angeles this trip, I was sitting by a couple who were coming to LA for a fun trip.  I gave them ideas—Venice Beach, downtown Los Angeles, the Getty.  It was a little depressing to explain that everything would take three hours to get to.  You can walk around Boston, you can stroll San Francisco, you can subway and meander around Manhattan.  Or you can endlessly drive the Los Angeles freeways.  Oh for a little country like Ireland where you could drive from one small town to another.


Published in: on August 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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