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Poem: "Bull-Dancers" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Bull-Dancers"

This poem came out of the June 13, 2008 Poetry Fishbowl.  (I'm reposting it because the original page seems to have crashed.)  It was inspired and prompted by browngirl.  This is one of several Minoan poems I've posted.  You might also enjoy "The Goddess and the Bull" and "The Snake Goddess."

-- classical hendecasyllable

He comes.  Distantly, bellows echo.  Bull.  God.
We wait, trembling, awed and silent.  Youths.  Maids.

Bull-God, galloping ringward, rumbles.  What horns!
Palms.  Chalk.  Sweaty still.  Grab the horns and – Heave!  Leap!

Land well.  Scattering, dodging charges, we flee.
Safe, safe!  Holiness touches dancers.  We kneel.

Each year, sacrifice blesses those who dare dance.
Flesh.  Grace.  Touching His power briefly, we fly.

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10 comments or Leave a comment
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 23rd, 2010 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooo! I wanna be a Minoan now! :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 23rd, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad you enjoyed my poetic tour. Most archaeologists infer from the remnants that Minoa was a well-developed and healthy culture. It was probably easy to live a happy life there.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 24th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Of course they were happy. Look at their artwork. An entire civilization that produced artwork reminiscent of Dr. Seuss HAD to be happy! :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 24th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

*laugh* Good point.

No, wait ... on closer consideration, I think it went the other way around. I'm a fairly enthusiastic Dr. Seuss fan, both on the writing and the art; and I've seen a fair bit of Minoan art and extrapolations of the culture. There are more than casual parallels, and some of the matches are obscure things. Bits of architecture, styling of clothes, the particular flavor of nonviolence. I suddenly wonder if he was into that branch of history.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 25th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Now you have me curious. I did a little Google Fu, but, other than idle speculation similar to ours, there isn't anything really popping off the screen in regards to Dr Seuss and any study or interest of Minoan culture. 'Course, this is not to say it's still not a possibility.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 25th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

It wouldn't show easily from our perspective. An author's connections often don't, unless you know the person and where they grew up and what kind of classes they took. The impressions are there in the work, but the source is usually hidden.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 26th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Very true.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: August 23rd, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never felt a real connection to the Minoans...
Until I read this triptych of yours. Thank you!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 24th, 2010 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad I was able to make that connection for you. I have admired Minoan civilization for a long time. It was a happy coincidence that one of my patrons was also very fond of it.

I hadn't really thought of these poems as a triptych before, but I think you're right -- they work well together. It might be interesting to scrapbook them on three matching pages.
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: August 24th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
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