She carried her body-cage like a delicate and brittle basket..


We do not often get real sticky wet and slippy snow in Ireland.

Our older people (we will all be elderly soon enough) are carrying themselves with incredible delicacy. The paths present a patchwork of half-hearted sand thrown down and a web of glassy ice. the puddles make a satisfying crack when breached, but bones are delicate.

This is an excerpt from The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges. (I found it again, it keeps losing itself in my shelves)

before becoming a monster and then turned into rocks, Scylla was a nymph with whom Glacus, one of the sea gods, had fallen in love. In order to win her, Glacus sought the help of Circe whose knowledge of herbs and incantations was well known. But Circe became attached to Glacus on sight, only she was unable to get him to forget Scylla, and to punish her rival she poured the juice of poisonous herbs into the fountain where the nymph bathed.

(Borges then excerpts the Metamorphoses of Ovid, which btw are given a contemporary gloss and translation by the late Ted Hughes and are published by Faber.)

So, poor Scylla became a rock and well our nod to certain difficulties and words in common usage include the phrase:

“Between a rock and a hard place”

though I suppose that since our education system is more based on manual labour preparation and the globalised market, the provenance of such clichéd phrases or truisms gets lost in the translation.

Edit: 07/12/2019: Read H.D’s “Curled Thyme”. H.D was a much ignored and magnificent poet, whom the canon-makers eschewed due to her difficulty. One imagines the canon-makers as lovers of overt simplicity!

 

 

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: