Lovely angles, muscles, motion
roused the pitch of hot devotion.
Banners raised as standards flapped
orders barked, salutes were snapped:
Olympiads and warrior rallies
Mountain maidens, Rhineland valleys
showed forth her visionary arts.
This Überfrau demands our hearts’
Leni filmed it with a flair
made us feel that we were there;
over, under, moving through
a merely mortal flaw: her true
Misbegotten Roman signs
intensified her visual lines.
forestalled by Leni’s optic frame;
her vision shines.
She’d tackle any reef and stall
to answer nature’s filmic call
diving deep and wrestling Kau:
light in Sudan’s darkness, how
it can enthrall.
Has history been unkind to her,
this cinematic Lucifer ?
Or is she vindicated
and rightly adulated
as memories blur?
No one dares excuse, nor coddle
Yet, the audience must admit
Leni was no hypocrite,
ours to throttle.
Liebfraumilch-maid ? Much depends
upon the angle of her lens
Leni makes the cameras falter,
wondering if film can alter
HAIKU be all, like:
MINIMALISM baybeee . . .
(kickin’ Snapchat’s ASS)
I am on (in?) a Classical groove today, having posted two favorite poems:
Poe’s To Helen and Nerval’s Delfica.
They share many similar Hellenic traits (or is Hellenistic a better term? Someone explain the difference please—it’s all Greek to me). I find many rich associations in both poems. In To Helen , the image of those Odyssean triremes transports me to the ancient Aegean, where the the name Psyche combines with Delos to form “psychedelic” (a purely subjective association, I know). By now I am hearing Cream’s Tales of Brave Ulysses in my mind—but I digress . . .
If you know French, I hope you will enjoy Delfica. Here is a translation into English by A.Z. Foresman if you don’t.
Psyche’s agate lamp has illuminated and inspired me ever since I first went on an E.A. Poe kick around the same time I got interested in Symbolist art during the mid 80’s. But long before that, in 4th grade, I attempted to memorize The Raven. I can still make it up until the line “… sorrow for the lost Lenore”. I was really into horror movies as a kid, which would explain some of what you find at this blog. I had a subscription to Famous monsters of Filmland magazine in the early 70’s. Did any of you read Monster magazine as a kid? I was obsessed with creepy stuff. I used to BEG my parents to let me stay up late on Saturday night for Creature Feature and Tales of the Unknown. (Channel 56 if you grew up in the Boston area)
Back to the poems: Nerval’s Chimères have fascinated me ever since a college French professor turned me on to them. Nerval’s poetry takes neoclassical madness right up to the edge of Christianity (one thinks of Paul before Festus and Agrippa in Acts 26: 24 -28 ) but then leaves you hanging in a philosophical void. The French seem to have been hanging in this void for a long time, ever since their Revolution turned into a blood bath which in turn paved the way for Napoleon. Gérard de Nerval was also left hanging apparently . . .
I wonder whether Nerval was a Christian or not.
Le Christ Aux Oliviers is so entwined with classical Greek paganism it is hard to tell.
I have tendency to blather. Gotta post this and move on. I thought it would be about Classical Greek allusions but it turned into a monster somewhere.
Hope you found something in the poems.