Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday Poem - The Maenads

Somewhere I read
that when they finally staggered off the mountain
into some strange town, past drunk,
hoarse, half naked, blear-eyed,
blood dried under broken nails
and across young thighs,
but still jeering and joking, still trying
to dance, lurching and yelling, but falling
dead asleep by the market stalls,
sprawled helpless, flat out, then
middle-aged women,
respectable housewives,
would come and stand nightlong in the agora
as ewes and cows in the night fields,
guarding, watching them
as their mothers
watched over them.
And no man
that fierce decorum.

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin
(from Finding My Elegy)

Ursula Le Guin was a fine poet and a Taoist scholar as well as an award winning novelist; the world is a poorer place for her passing out of it this week. As devotees of Dionysus, the Maenads would probably have been drinking red wine, and not this exquisite golden Chardonnay, but I just love the color.


winter_bloom said...

Mostly I read her science fiction and fantasy, but I've found great wisdom in her essays as well. She will be missed.

Cari said...

Loved reading this, Cate. I haven't been to your blog in a while and am so happy to see it again. It is always so peaceful and beautiful here. I am always discovering new bits of Ursula and am so grateful that she left us so much of herself in her words. I wrote a rather longer tribute to her on my website with some of the art I made of her words. So many of us were affected by her work.

kerrdelune said...

Cari, Ursula was a treasure, and we were so lucky to have her.