7.16.2009

Invocation to the Pierides

I am trying to put something up every Thursday, but this week I've been doing more ruminating than writing because I have a bloated idea floating through my brains.

The Pierides, if you don't want to go Googling, are nine daughters of King Pierus, an ancient Greek king who thought them so skilled that they surpassed the Muses. The Muses, miffed at such an affront, turned the nine girls into noisy birds, like jackdaws and finches. As this is only the invocation and praepositio of a longer work, so I guess I'm cheating, a little ;).

I sing of travails and a house
It's just a little sort of tale.
The souls in it are long-forgot
Despite the house and the travail.
And though I've spoke with each of them,
Perhaps they never even were -
Perhaps they're just the poet's whim.
But tales are not particular
Of facts.
          There is no business here
For muses - it's a song for birds -
So I'll invoke the Pierides
To sing their keening jackdaw dirge
Beside my fairy words.

Remind me, pretty Pierides,
Of what Sister Iolanthe told
Of Evy, child of the Count
Arcadia - of how the cold
Of winter licked her swollen womb
While swam she through the spring-slushed snow
The term of her travailing come.
Remind me of the icy fall
Of March's first unfrozen rains
That struggle for liquidity.
Her child, low upon her bones,
Petitioned for an opening
To human finity.

(Image by Foucalt