Thursday, 10 April 2014


Leda And The Swan, by Odilon Redon

The white swan with its huge wings beating hard
White lilied Leda couldn’t escape that glance
The painter saw and Yeats and the blind Bard
Leda fought, bled and went into a trance
Omnipotent Zeus looked upon the Earth
Lilies shuddered and waited for the doom
While Leda laid eggs and saw that strange birth
The Earth counted days for that huge Mushroom
Shadows roam about the necropolis
 Whistling of heavy sighs still could be heard
Unnatural children grace mothers’ wombs
There are still takers for poisoned chalice
In the sky one can still spot that huge bird
In the same world lilies dream of their tombs

*Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces, or rapes, Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. In the W.B. Yeats version, it is subtly suggested that Clytemnestra, although being the daughter of Tyndareus, has somehow been traumatized by what the swan has done to her mother (see below). According to many versions of the story, Zeus took the form of a swan and raped or seduced Leda on the same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus. In some versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched.[1] In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.

courtesy : wikipedia  

Posted for hedgewitch’s prompt The Art Of Odilon Redon @ Real Toads


  1. I LOVE this powerful tribute to Redon and Yeats and Chaos itself when the gods use human women as playthings. I shudder at the continued presence of Zeus, at the lilies awaiting the chalice. I treat this story, too, in the novel I write in and abandon, month on, month off. You can read part of it here:

  2. It's a fascinating myth, isn't it--such an odd bunch of symbols in it, perverse even, as your poem hints--perhaps to show that the power of the gods was completely beyond our understanding...anyway, an excellent take on the prompt, and thanks so much for participating.

  3. def a cool play on the myth...what a bizarre world when the gods start to muck in it eh? perverse is a good word for it...

  4. A fascinating myth – draped in an eerie, otherworldly atmosphere.

  5. You have written well of the darkness of the myth...

  6. I love this! You have really captured the strangeness of the mythological world. The details of this world great, but those last six lines are wonderful!

  7. You're version of Leda and the Swan is thoughtfully done. Love the reference to Yeats...his version always comes to mind when I htink of the story. Kudos!

  8. Your last three lines carry myth and mystery beautifully written, Sumana!

  9. … the imager has always transfixed me - and your words pay wonderful homage to it!


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