But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our Sex, why feigned they those nine
And poesy made Calliope’s own child?
Huntress, fill my pleading glass !
Let this marksman’s blood be merry.
Whether we shoot hind or ass,
Hail our wet preliminary.
Having brought to birth such brave quadruplets,
Let us toast the midwife with our couplets.
Sweet Diana pours her rounds:
Tawny Port and Shooting Sherry.
Hares now flee the baying hounds
For their country sanctuary.
Thine the night, oh bright and savage huntress;
Lead us to the quarry, chaste Artemis.
Conejito, hide yourself
From the charging adversary
Who would change your pelt for pelf;
(All close shaves are cautionary).
Forgive our clanging gong and sounding brass;
They serve to drive the quarry from the grass.
Healing balm: such sporting frolic,
Dares us to stay sedentary;
Banishing our melancholic
State, her bright apothecary!
Wild huntress, let us know you as the Greeks
And quiver as our heart your arrow seeks.
Toast we now the careless hunt;
Spoonerists wax luminary.
Visions of the hairless cunt
Make my lay discretionary.
ye POETS, SWAINS and MUSES
Thus ends National Poetry Writing Month
I bid you all fair Adieu.
Trip away, make no stay / Meet me all by break of day . . .
What a name . . . what a face.
Gypsy Marpessa Dawn Menor
I feel really stupid. Yesterday I found out that one of my favorite Reggae artists Mikey Dread passed away 3 years ago, and I was unaware. Now I find out that one of my favorite film stars also passed away that same summer. It seems like just yesterday I was furiously Googling to find some news about the aged actress who played Eurydice in Black Orpheus (1959), but it was the early summer of 2008 actually, so I was trying to find news about her just months before she died.
She has always been a beautiful mystery. I was very curious about her after I first saw the film in the 1980’s. She was speaking fluent Portuguese and I had no idea she was from Pittsburgh, PA originally. After Black Orpheus she was in some bizarre leftish French art films. I saw one just because she was in it: Sweet Movie (1974) which was awful, but have not been able to see any others. Black Orpheus was a great awakening for me. It made me realize what a good director can do with film as an art form. The movie brings together so many themes that have haunted me ever since – Brazilian Samba, life after death, Greek myth, street parade spectacle, masquerade, all set before the viewer in a swirl of color and insistent rhythm. It is one of a handful of films I recommend to anyone who likes film as art.
Another favorite film of mine, Soy Cuba, featured a Cuban actress named Luz María Collazo. For a long time I thought it was Marpessa Dawn until checking the cast list for that Soviet/Cuban propaganda film. The film is a lot like Triumph of the Will (1934 Nazi rally) and Olympia (1938) filmed by Leni Riefenstahl in that it is blatant propaganda for a political ideology, but the filmmakers render it so visually striking that it endures as cinema art long after the cause has been discredited. I recommend Soy Cuba as well as Triumph of the Will if you love film and history.
So what does this have to do with poetry? Nothing – and everything.
Just read the poem of her name out loud:
Where is she now ?