Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Ophelia Cantos

Lilies tangle in her hair: green stems

Like water-snakes.

A disembodied hand

Floats on the surface. So much has been lost

Already: toes, the lobe of her left ear.

But this remains, a damp, immaculate

Sign, like a message saved from the dark current.

She wandered through the courtyard in her tattered

Dress distributing wild violets.

She called us whores—your son ma'am, not your husband's

I think—and knaves—the taxes sir, your cellar

Is stocked with sweet Moselle. We called this madness.

Indicia of her innocence: to be

A maiden floating dead among the flowers.

She will become an elegant and mute

Image: the sodden velvet coat, the sinking

Coronet of poppies, virgin's bower,

And eglantine. The replicable girl.

(A blob of Chinese white becomes a hand.

The artist puts his brush in turpentine,

The model pulls her stockings on.)

And yet,

Surround by the water-lily stems,

Her face appears an enigmatic mask:

A drowned Medusa in her snaking hair.

The lilies gape around her like pink mouths,

Telling us nothing we can understand.

Her eyes stare upwards: dead and not quite dead.

by Theodora Goss

1 comment:

Ule said...


Calling me a "sexist, fatuous ass" is something of a compliment, considering you list books by Starhawk as favorites of yours, and call yourself an "eco-femininst". The depths of the new-agey nonsense into which you have descended are reprehensible to me and to all traditional pagans. Your scorn is praise to me; it shows that I have successfully distanced myself from you and your kind- something I greatly desire to do.

At any rate, to call me sexist is not coherent; I in no manner view women as lesser beings, nor do I dispute their right to equal treatment and privilege in society. You can't see past your bullcrap feminist agenda, and I understand that. Just understand that the scorn of a new-ager is not an insult to me or to us. It's a sign that we're living right.