SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter
SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)
It’s Winter Solstice. Today 12/21/13, at 12:11 pm EST, just after noon on East Coast of the US, just after 9am in the West, winter strikes the Northern Hemisphere. This is the shortest day of the year. At the specified time, the sun will be directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn, 23.5 degrees South latitude. It is the lowest path of the sun all year, and the midday sun will appear at its lowest point of the year. It’s Summer Solstice South of the equator.
Demeter is The Mother. Or the Corn Mother. Video by Rachel Neulander of medicinesocks YouTube channel. This video was popular at Vatican City, possible relating to it’s in Sapphic rhythm. I say this because my video about Sapphic rhythm was even more popular at the Vatican. A Sapphic Appendix is a fraction of a line that appears at the end of a stanza adding a psychological twist to the matter.
SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter
A scene I am sad to say I have seen,
Sadder still to admit I know not if it
Were dream or reality, actual history,
Actual factual fractural mystery:
Mist and clouds, cherubim, puttos,
Cupids, child angels angered at Pluto’s
Heinous violent acts:
He has her! He hacks
/at the reins,
And away go the steeds
With embargoed Wells Fargo cargo,
And at tremendous speeds
That in seconds could carry and ferry
The Argo from Fargo to Largo.
Those beings’ deeds
/and the reigns
Of the Rich One and Jove
Are founded on strange
Emotions. No, not upon love.
If these Titans were Titian’s,
He’d paint us a dove,
/and the rains
Would not drown out its meek
Voice. If but El Greco,
That Spanish Italian Greek,
Would to us with brush speak —
Ah, but Pan can never man Echo,
Who’ll in turn be turned down by Narcissus,
Who’ll take not a one for his missus
And fade away into a flower.
Wouldn’t it be better to’ve taken a lover?
Above standeth Jove, he is over,
But Pluto below holds the power:
by Norman B
a Deviation from the Norm
Line 5: puttos – A putto is a child angel in art, plural putti.
Line 6 and Line 17: Pluto – Greek for The Rich One; epithet for Aidoneus (Hades for short); it’s wise to use epithet rather than pronouncing the name of the supremely powerful Lord of the Dead; if you say his name, he may come for you, hence the expression “Speak of the Devil … ”
SAPPHIC APPENDICES: This poem is written in Sapphic rhythm: At the end of each verse is a fractional line, the Sapphic appendix. In this poem, all of the Sapphic appendices are exact rhymes with each other. Unfortunately, YouTube’s format doesn’t allow Sapphic appendices to appear under the end of the previous line where they are traditionally.
(p)(c)2007 Norman Schulerud Bie, Jr. All rights reserved. First broadcast on WMUA UMass Amherst Student Radio in 1999. First performed live at Fire & Water coffeehouse & performance gallery in Northampton, Mass., in 1997.
A Note From Ms Medicinesocks: Here is a link to a translation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, by Gregory Nagy that will knock your socks off;
(This poem refers to a Greek hymn of the First Millennium BC about the first generation of Olympian Titans. Zeus/Jove ruled the sky. His brother Hades/Pluto ruled the underworld. Their sister Demeter/Ceres ruled agriculture. Zeus and Demeter had a daughter Persephone/Kora [The Child]. Pluto The Rich One lusted for The Child. The Father said “Take her.” At that time, society did not question such arrangements.
Women and children were the property of men. Rape was permanent. But this Homeric Hymn focuses on the Mother’s grief over her daughter’s abduction. Demeter in her anguish withheld her gifts from the Earth. Everything withered, but the underworld had its Queen. Only after a treaty was struck returning Persephone for part of the year, did Demeter replenish the Earth with the fruits and flowers of spring. But each year The Child must return to Hades for a season, and again we feel The Mother’s loss as bitter winter falls.)
Below is my live performance of the poem, wearing my monk’s habit.