Saturday, November 26, 2005

Week 9 Post 1

To Helen
By: Edgar Allen Poe

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in you brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

Edgar Allen's Poem uses the allusion of the Greek Helen of Troy story to describe the beauty he wants to express. The descriptions he uses to describe Helen's captivity to other men fill the reader with such great imagery. Each description gives a specific of Helen and paints her picture out. In the last few stanzas the speaker describe Helen as a statue, and talks of her enchanment. He compares her to a statue and when I think of statue and Greece, I think of those huge white statues that you see in pictures and muesums. The perfect shape of the body and the perfect complexion. Not one bit of flaw in those figures. But the speaker talks of her stance. How still like she stands and how she shines. This lovely woman, who has hair and a face of what Greeks would. I think that it was clever how he described her face as classic. Classic makes it seem like old. People use the word classic to describe all sorts of antiques, and using classic to describe her face makes it sound like she's an antique. I wonder if he wanted that effect.

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