Search This Blog

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fast Day 193 February 12 2011 {When Helen of Troy Was a Kid}



When Helen of Troy Was A Kid

When Helen was a kid at Jones Beach, she did not
launch a thousand ships, only four that followed her
around like her faithful dogs, who hung their heads out
the back windows of the sedan when old lady
Begley drove the kids down the Wantagh State Parkway,
- Helen under towels to avoid admission -
aerodynamic, art deco, Italianate
water tower: sandstone and multi-coloured brick.
Beach grass and sand dunes, umbrella-covered picnics;
just a suntan kid followed by a flotilla.

She grew up and she walked upon the street lights;
she jumped from traffic light to light;
she danced upon the jungle gym of fireworks
that carpeted the harbor, and made that beach sand
Klimtian jewels and islands of deco gold!
All before she went to live with dark myopic
Menelaus, the industrious, of Sparta far away;
he worked late – too late – at the Eurotan palace,
while fleets coursed the sea under her wings!
And Trojan princes pounce the wide Aegean!

----
notes

Helen of Troy, whose face launched a thousand ships (according to Marlowe), as a kid in New York.
The princes of Troy refers to Paris, her lover.

Menelaus - king of Sparta
Klimtian - like the paintings of Gustav Klimt
Eurotan - pertaining to the Eurotas river of Sparta

--

3 comments:

Ruth said...

Did the illustration prompt this sweet outpouring?

Montag said...

Yes, it did. I bought it at Hollander's in Ann Arbor two weeks ago; it was a blank card and the image was a mystery...

After a while I decided it must be Helen practicing her launching of ships; she started with one, worked up to four, and by the time she had married Menelaus, her face could launch those thousand triremes with ease.

Ruth said...

:-)