Helen in Egypt
The fabulous beauty of Helen of Troy is legendary. But some say that Helen was never in Troy, that she had been conveyed by Zeus to Egypt, and that Greeks and Trojans alike fought for an illusion. A fifty-line fragment by the poet Stesichorus of Sicily (c. 640-555 B.C.), what survives of his Pallinode, tells us almost all we know of this other Helen, and from it H. D. wove her book-length poem. Yet Helen in Egypt is not a simple retelling of the Egyptian legend but a recreation of the many myths surrounding Helen, Paris, Achilles, Theseus, and other figures of Greek tradition, fused with the mysteries of Egyptian hermeticism.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Michael.Xolotl - LibraryThing
I read somewhere that one of H.D.'s purposes in writing this was to have it serve as an answer to Pound's Cantos. It doesn't really, but it is reminiscent of the Cantos in that it has a lot of ... Read full review
Achilles Achilles waits Agamemnon altar Amen-script Amen-temple anger answer Aphrodite Argo arrow Aulis awake battle brazier Briseis brother call on Thetis caravel child Chryseis circle Clytaemnestra Command Cypris Daemon dark dead death desolate beach Dioscuri dream eidolon ember enchantment Eros eternal eyes Fate father fire flame flower forever forget Helen ghost god-father goddess Greece heart heaven Hector Hecuba Helen in Egypt Helen of Troy Helen seems hero hieroglyph host immortal Iphigenia iron-ring Isis king knew Leuke lost Love lover lure magic mast memory Menelaus mother Myrmidons mystery Nephthys never night Odysseus Oenone Orestes Pallinode Paris past phantom Philoctetes Polyxena priestess Proteus prow ramparts recall remember sail sand script Scyros sea-enchantment sea-mother Selected Poems shadow shell ships sister slain snow Sparta Star stared Stesichorus story symbol temple Theseus Thetis thought Trojan and Greek Troy turn Tyndareus veil of Cytheraea Walls Wheel Zeus
Page 1 - Helen was never in Troy. She had been transposed or translated from Greece into Egypt. Helen of Troy was a phantom, substituted for the real Helen, by jealous deities.
Page 11 - How did we greet each other? here in this Amen-temple, I have all-time to remember; he comes, he goes; I do not know that memory calls him, or what Spirit-master summons him to release (as God released him) the imprisoned, the lost; few were the words we said, but the words are graven on stone, minted on gold, stamped upon lead; they are coins of a treasure or the graded weights of barter and measure; "I am a woman of pleasure...
Page 6 - King of Myrmidons, unconquerable, a mountain and a grave, Achilles; few were the words we said, nor knew each other, nor asked, are you Spirit? are you sister? are you brother? are you alive? are you dead? the harpers will sing forever of how Achilles met Helen among the shades, but we were not, we are not shadows; as we walk, heel and sole leave our sandal-prints in the sand, though the wounded heel treads lightly and more lightly follow, the purple sandals.