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Posts Tagged ‘Hera’

Flowers and Plants in Greek Myths

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"Flora" (Goddess of Flowers) by Evelyn De Morgan. 1894.

“Flora” (Goddess of Flowers) by Evelyn De Morgan. 1894.

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►Metamorphosis, Life-cycles and Seasons:

One of the most important sources when it comes to Greek Mythology is Ovid´s “Metamorphoses”. According to this account, many times the passage from life to death entails a “metamorphosis”. Characters whether gods/goddesses or humans are transformed into “something else”.

Plants (usually flowers or trees) could be examples of this transformation. The same applies to stars, as many characters are converted to stars and placed among stellar constellations . This mostly happens after their death, as tribute,  but even as a sort of exoneration; or even as punishment. The main God in charge to do so is, of course, Zeus, the Ruler of Gods.

Metamorphosis is a key element in Greek mythology. Zeus had probably the most changes in Greek mythology, and he used different appearances as a way of courting potential lovers. Zeus often took the form of animals aiming to sleep with his future lovers. For example, Zeus consorted with Mnemosyne in the form of a shepherd. Leda was seduced by Zeus in the form of swan. He even fell for a young man called Ganymede, who was abducted and taken to Olympus by Zeus in the form of an eagle to be his lover and the cupbearer of the gods. But there were cases in which Zeus took other forms. For example, Callisto (a nymph who was in love with Artemis) was deceived by Zeus disguised as Artemis, the goddess of hunting. And in the case of Danae, Zeus turned himself into golden rain, made his way into her chamber, and impregnated her.

Back to flowers and plants, it is worth noting that they go through different stages in their life cycle. Growth is where photosynthesis begins as the leaves collect sunlight and turn it into food for the growing flower. The root system stretches out and develops, and the flower bud begins to form during the growth stage. Within the protection of the bud, a small, complete flower forms. When the plant matures and is ready to reproduce, it develops flowers. All plants begin life as a seed but flowers are unique in their ability to attract pollinating creatures and spread their seeds. Flowers are the special structures involved in pollination and fertilisation, processes which lead to the formation of new seeds. 

Seeds, leaves and flowers are basic and indispensable components of the same structures: plants.

Plants and flowers might go through different stages, depending on the season of the year. In Spring, tree buds burst into leaves and flowers blossom. In Summer, trees are in full leaf. During autumn, tree leaves turn yellow, red or brown and fall to the ground, trees start to reproduce and spread their seeds (which lay dormant on the ground throughout winter and start budding around spring). In Winter, trees are bare and fallen leaves begin to decay. 

Interestingly enough, as a consequence of what has been described above, a mythological character who had been metamorphosed to a plant would eventually go through many other changes as well. Furthermore, when it comes to life-cycles, seasons and stages of life (birth, childhood, adulthood, old age) have much in common: distinctive characteristics such as development, reproduction, vitality, lethargy could be expressions of both annual phases and periods of a lifetime.

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►Myhrra: Myrrh Tree /Adonis: Anemone:

Adonis’s mother was Myrrha, the beautiful daughter of king Cinyras

Myrrha’s mother would say that she was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the goddess who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

She tricked him into sleeping with her and she became pregnant. When her father found out he had been tricked he was so angry that he tried to kill her but the gods took pity on her and turned her into a myrrh tree.

Even so, the goddess finally gave birth to her son. Aphrodite found the baby by a myrrh tree and she gave him to Persephone, the wife of Hades, who was the God of the Underworld. 

When the child grew he became a very beautiful young man: Adonis.

Persephone was also taken by Adonis’ beauty and refused to give him back to Aphrodite.

The dispute between the two goddesses was settled by Zeus, the king of the gods: Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. He chose to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite.

Ares, the god of war, grew jealous because Aphrodite spent so much time with Adonis that she had forgotten about him. As a result, Ares turned into a gigantic wild boar and attacked Adonis. Adonis, having forgotten Aphrodite’s warning, attacked the boar but soon found himself being chased by it. 

The boar caught Adonis and castrated him. Adonis died in Aphrodite’s arms, and she sprinkled his blood with nectar from the anemone. It is supposedly Adonis’ blood that turns the Adonis River red, each spring. 

The Greek myths lend the Anemone flower dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the loss of a loved one to death, it also represents forsaken and undying love.

Christians later adopted the symbolism of the anemone. For them its red represented the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross. Anemones sometimes appear in paintings of the Crucifixion.

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On the Left: “Myhrra assisted by Lucina, the Goddess of Birth” by Jean de Court (1560).. On the Right: Myrrh tree.

On the Left: “Myhrra assisted by Lucina, the Goddess of Birth” by Jean de Court (1560).. On the Right: Myrrh tree.

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On the Left: “Adonis” by Benjamin West (1800). On the Right: An anemone

On the Left: “Adonis” by Benjamin West (1800). On the Right: An anemone

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"The Awakening of Adonis” by John William Waterhouse. (1900) / On the right: Details: Anemones.

“The Awakening of Adonis” by John William Waterhouse. (1900) / On the right: Details: Anemones.

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►Daphne: Laurel Tree:

Daphne was a nymph,. Her mother was Gaia and her father, the river god Peneus.

Daphne was also a follower of Artemis, the goddess of Hunting, and a divinity never conquered by love. The priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and transgressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished. 

Apollo was a very great archer and he loves to praise himself. One day Apollo met Eros, who was a very great archer like Apollo.

Apollo made fun about Eros‘s archery. As the latter got angry and wanted revenge, he made two arrows. One arrow was submerged in golden water. This arrow awakened love and passion if stuck into human flesh,whilst the other arrow removed passion and love, under the same circumstances.

The arrow of love reached Apollo’s heart and he desperately loved Daphne. But unfortunately the other arrow into Daphne’s heart. As a result, Daphne always ran away from Apollo, who never stopped chasing her. Finally Apollo captured her. Being in this situation, Daphne asked help from his father, Peneus. As all gods of water posses the ability of transformation, Peneus transformed his daughter into a laurel tree. Since Apollo could no longer take her as his wife, he vowed to tend her as his tree, to raid away all tempted beasts and creatures of the earth, that intended to do her harm, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns. Laurel leaves surrounded the temple of Apollo to cleanse the soul before entering, being related to ambition and success. It’s associated with purification and considered a plant with powers of immortality. Laurel supposedly awakens awareness and past life memories.

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On the Left: “Apollo and Daphne” by Antonio del Pollaiolo (1470/1480).- On the Right: Laurel Bay Leaves.

On the Left: “Apollo and Daphne” by Antonio del Pollaiolo (1470/1480).- On the Right: Laurel Bay Leaves.

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►Lotis: Lotus Tree:

According to Ovid´s “Fasti”, the nymph Lotis fell into a drunken slumber at a feast, and Priapus (the son of Aphrodite and Dionysus, who was usually frustrated by his sexual impotence), seized this opportunity to advance upon her. With stealth he approached, and just before he could embrace her, a donkey alerted the party with “raucous braying”. Lotis awoke and pushed Priapus away, but her only true escape would result in being transformed into a lotus tree.  The symbolic, broader meaning of lotus flowers is of spiritual purity and chastity. Its meaning also entails eloquence and rebirth.

Furthermore, Lotus-Eater was also one of a tribe encountered by the Greek hero Odysseus during his return from Troy, after a north wind had driven him and his men from Cape Malea (Homer, “Odyssey”, Book IX). The local inhabitants, whose distinctive practice is indicated by their name, invited Odysseus’ scouts to eat of the mysterious plant. Those who did so were overcome by a blissful forgetfulness; they had to be dragged back to the ship and chained to the rowing-benches, or they would never have returned to their duties.

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On the Left: "The Feast of the Gods" by Giovanni Bellini and Titian. 1514–1529 Painting and Detail "Priapus and Lotis", respectively. On the Right: Lotus tree (flowers)

On the Left: “The Feast of the Gods” by Giovanni Bellini and Titian. 1514–1529
Painting and Detail “Priapus and Lotis”, respectively. On the Right: Lotus tree (flowers).

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►Agdistis: Almond Tree/ Cybele: Violet:

The story tells that when Cybele, the great mother goddess, Cybele rejected Zeus, he spilled his seed on her. In due course, Cybele gave birth to Agdistis, a hermaphroditic demon so strong and wild the other gods feared him. In their terror they cut off his male sexual organ. From its blood sprang an almond tree. The almond tree represents the promise and the beauty, and it is a symbol of resurrection.

The river Sangarius had a daughter named Nana, who ate the fruit of this almond tree. As a result of having eaten this fruit Nana delivered a boy child nine months later. His name was Attis and, as time went by, he became a young handsome man… So  handsome his grandmother, Cybele fell in love with him. In time, Attis saw the king of Pessinus’ beautiful daughter, fell in love, and wished to marry her. The goddess Cybele became insanely jealous and drove Attis mad for revenge. Running crazy through the mountains, Attis killed himself. From Attis’ blood sprang the first violets.

The Greeks believed that violets were sacred to the god Ares and to Io, one of the many human lovers of Zeus. Violet flowers symbolized delicate love, affection, modesty, faith, nobility, intuition and dignity.  Later, in Christian symbolism, the violet stood for the virtue of humility, or modesty, and several legends tell of violets springing up on the graves of virgins and saints. European folktales associate violets with death and morning. Besides, almonds trees are mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 30:37, Genesis 43:11, and in Exodus 25:33.

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On the Left: Phrygian statue of Agdistis from the mid-6th century BCE. On the Right: An almond tree.

On the Left: Phrygian statue of Agdistis from the mid-6th century BCE. On the Right: An almond tree.

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Cybele, Roman statue (marble), 1st century AD, (Getty Museum, Malibu).

Cybele, Roman statue (marble), 1st century AD, (Getty Museum, Malibu).

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►Clythie: Sunflower:

Clytie and her sister, Leucothea, were water nymphs. Early every morning they used to come up from the depths of their river, with other nymphs from neighboring streams and fountains, and dance among the water-plants on its shores. But with the first rays of the rising sun, all the dancers plunged back into the water and disappeared; for that was the law among water-nymphs.
One morning Clytie and Leucothea broke this law. When the sun began to show above the hills, and all the other nymphs rushed back to their streams, these two sat on the bank of their river, and watched for the coming of the sun-god. Then as Apollo drove his horses across the sky, they sat and watched him all day long. When they returned home, Clytie told King Oceanus how Leucothea had broken the law of the water-nymphs, but she did not say that she herself had broken it also. King Oceanus was very angry, and shut Leucothea up in a cave. Clytie felt there was no more competition, as she clearly didn´t want to share her love towards Apollo with her sister. The following day, she remained on the shore all day to watch Apollo, the God of the Sun. For a time the god returned her love, but then he got tired of her. The forlorn Clytie sat, day after day, slowly turning her head to watch Apollo move across the sky in his solar chariot. Eventually, the gods took pity on her and turned her into a flower. In some versions of the myth, she became a heliotrope or a marigold, but most accounts say that Clytie became a sunflower

Spiritually, sunflowers represent God’s love and humankind seeking unity and connection with a higher power, being linked to lofty thoughts, faith, hope and unity.

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On the Left: “Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite” by Frederic Leighton (1895). On the Right: “Clytie” by Evelyn De Morgan (1887).

On the Left: “Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite” by Frederic Leighton (1895). On the Right: “Clytie” by Evelyn De Morgan (1887).

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On the Left: "Clytie" by Élisabeth Sonrel (20th century). On The Right: A Sunflower.

On the Left: “Clytie” by Élisabeth Sonrel (20th century). On The Right: A Sunflower.

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►Hyacinth: Homonym Flower:

Hyacinth was a beautiful youth and lover of the god Apollo, though he was also admired by the West Wind, Zephyrus. Apollo´s beauty caused a feud between the two gods. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo’s discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth.

When he died, Apollo did not allow Hades, the God of the Underworld, to claim him; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth– which represents the virtue of  constancy sprang from his blood. According to a local Spartan version of the myth, Hyacinth and his sister Polyboea were taken to Elysium by Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis.

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On the left: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, "The death of Hyacinth". 18 th century. Painting and detail, respectively. On the right: A Hyacinth.

On the left: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, “The death of Hyacinth”. 18 th century. Painting and detail, respectively. On the right: A Hyacinth.

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►Narcissus: Homonym Flower:

Echo was a beautiful nymph, fond of the woods, where she devoted herself to woodland sports. She was a favorite of Artemis, and attended her in the chase. But Echo had one failing; she was fond of talking, and whether in chat or argument, would have the last word.

One day, Hera was seeking her husband, who, she had reason to fear, was amusing himself among the nymphs. Echo by her talk contrived to detain the goddess until the nymphs managed to escape. When Hera discovered it, she passed sentence upon Echo in these words: “You shall forfeit the use of that tongue with which you have cheated me, except for that one purpose you are so fond of—reply. You shall still have the last word, but no power to speak first”.

This nymph saw Narcissus, a beautiful youth, as he pursued the chase upon the mountains. She liked him and followed his footsteps, but her attempts to talk to Narcissus were vain. e left her, and she went to hide her blushes in the recesses of the woods.

Narcissus came upon a clear spring, Narcissus stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water; he thought it was some beautiful water-spirit living in the fountain. The spell of Artemis had totally mesmerized him, and for hours he sprawled by the spring, until at last he recognized himself. Unable to stand the  inability of consummating love, Narcissus plunged a dagger in his heart and died.

When Narcissus died, wasting away before his own reflection, consumed by a love that could not be, Echo mourned over his body. As he was looking one last time into the pool uttered, “Oh marvellous boy, I loved you in vain, farewell”, Echo too chorused, “Farewell.”

The myth tells that where his blood soaked the earth sprung up the white narcissus flower with its red corollary, forever growing at the water’s edge, its head inclined towards the water. No wonder why Narcissus flowers Symbolize love, rebirth and new beginnings.

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On the Left: "Echo and Narcissus". Pier Francesco Mola. 1633-41. Painting and detail, respectively. On the Right: Narcissus.

On the Left: “Echo and Narcissus”. Pier Francesco Mola. 1633-41. Painting and detail, respectively. On the Right: Narcissus.

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►Poppies, Symbols of Demeter (and also of Hypnos, Thanatos and Morpheus):

The Greeks associated poppies with  Hypnos, god of sleep, his twin brother, Thanatos, god of death, and Morpheus, god of dreams. This was because a type of poppy native to the Mediterranean region yields a substance called opium, a drug that was used in the ancient world to ease pain and bring on sleep.

In Greek mythology, Demeter was the goddess of agriculture who presented humankind with the secrets to grain-farming (a craft which she first revealed to the demi-god Triptolemus). Her emblem was the red poppy growing among the barley. The myth says that Demeter created the poppy so she could sleep, whilst wandering about in search of her daughter for nine days. This was after the loss of her daughter, Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades and taken to the Underworld. As a result of her daughter´s abduction, a grief-stricken and wrathful Demeter commanded the earth to become infertile until her daughter was returned to her (this would, in turn, induce autumn, and then winter). Upon seeing the starvation of the mortals due to Demeter’s curse on the earth, Zeus was forced to order Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Hades complied with his brother’s wish, but before Persephone was taken back up by Hermes (the only god who can go freely to the Underworld), Hades gave her a pomegranate, and persuaded her to eat six seeds. Hence, Persephone has to stay within the Underworld for six months out of the year. The theme of sleep is carried through the myth as Persephone’s cyclical excursions to the underworld were timed with the seasons. She would leave her mother Demeter in the winter to join her husband, Hades. Her absence marked the winter, her submersion in the underworld signifies a kind of “closing the shutters” and slumber in the cycle of life. 

By and large, poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. 

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On the Left: Demeter Relief, 18Th Century. Versailles. On the right: A Poppy.

On the Left: Demeter Relief, 18Th Century. Versailles. On the right: A Poppy.

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Rememberance-Day-Poppies

During World War I, poppies florished naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields. The armistice which ended World War I took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In the years after the war, veterans and fallen from the Allied forces were honored by the wearing of real or artificial poppies on Armistice Day.

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Worth reading!. 

♠Poetry: Robert Frost´s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

Analysis at Poetic Parfait with Christy Birmingham:

This section of the post is mostly a recommendation, consisting of an analysis of Robert Frost´s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, posted by Christy Birmingham

To sum up how it all started, Christy has mentioned it as one of her favorite poems in an interview. So I was curious about it and told her that I would read it and tell her my thoughts. Soon after the first approaches, we concluded that such great poem should be analyzed in depth. 

Personally, I loved this poem  and I was thrilled by Frost´s poetic proficiency. The poem is brief (it only has six lines) and yet, it is so deep, and its ideas and metaphors are remarkably well intertwined, mainly given the “cyclical nature” of the poem… As a result of the discussion, Christy wrote an excellent post on her blog, which you can´t miss… So, without further ado, please take a closer look at “Nothing Gold Can Stay” on Poetic Parfait.

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Analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost (Excerpt From Poetic Parfait): 

In a recent author interview, I explained that one of my favorite poems is “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. Shortly after the interview published, my friend and fellow blogger Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles commented to me that she had not heard of this particular poem… As we I chatted about the poem, it became clear that there was a lot to discuss, from the imagery within the brilliant lines to Robert Frost’s use of rhyme and meter. Below is our collaborative analysis of “Nothing Gold Can Stay”… Read More.

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Click above to read the analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost on Poetic Parfit.

Click above to read the analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost on Poetic Parfait.

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►🌟About Christy Birmingham🌟:

cb1Christy is a Canadian freelance writer, poet and author. She is the author of two books. The poetry collection “Pathways to Illumination” (2013). And another poetry book,  “Versions of the Self” (2015).  Besides, she hosts two blogs: Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire. You can also connect with Christy on Twitter

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►Links Post:
http://www.paleothea.com/Myths/Attis.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/ZeusLoves3.html
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lotus-Eater
http://riordan.wikia.com/wiki/Demeter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_symbolism
https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/tag/demeter/
http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa113099a.htm
http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/myth-stories/clytie.htm
http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Pollination/Looking-Closer/Flowering-plant-life-cycles
http://www.bustle.com/articles/94692-8-weirdest-sex-things-that-went-down-in-greek-mythology

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Read Full Post »

narcissus and echo1

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"Narcissus" by Caravaggio. 1597.

“Narcissus” by Caravaggio. 1597.

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The classic version of this myth is by Ovid, found in Book III of his Metamorphoses (Lines 339/508)

Echo was an Oread or Orestiad, meaning a type of nymph that lived in mountains, valleys, and ravines. The Oreads were associated with Artemis, the goddess of hunting.

Zeus used to  loved consorting with Goddess and nymphs. Hera, became suspicious, towards Zeus for his many affairs.

Though vigilant, whenever she was about to catch him, Echo distracted her with lengthy conversations.

When at last Hera realized the truth, she cursed Echo. To punish her, Hera took away her most valuable possession: her voice.

Hera permitted Echo only to reply in foolish repetition of another’s shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was mimic the words of the speaker.

Sometime after being cursed, Echo spied a young man, Narcissus, while he was out hunting deer with his companions.

Narcissus was a hunter who was known for his beauty. He was the son of the river-god Cephissos, and Liriope.

Echo immediately fell in love with Narcissus.

Narcissus sensed someone was behind him and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. Echo was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her.

Narcissus was not finished. A handsome man named Ameinius was one of the vain youth’s most ardent admirers and relentlessly vied for his attention. So what did Narcissus do? The conceited youth responded to the entreaties by sending his suitor a sword, telling him to prove his adoration.

Not knowing how else to prove his adoration, Ameinius proceeded to plunge the sword into his heart, committing suicide to demonstrate his love.

As he lay dying, he beseeched the gods to punish the heartless Narcissus.

The goddess of the hunt, Artemis, (according to other versions it could have been Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, instead) learnt of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. Hence, she caused Narcissus to fall in love…but the kind of love that “could never be fulfilled”.

Narcissus came upon a clear spring at Donacon in Thespia, Narcissus stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water; he thought it was some beautiful water-spirit living in the fountain.

The spell of Artemis had totally mesmerized him, and for hours he sprawled by the spring, until at last he recognized himself.

Unable at last to stand the agony Narcissus plunged a dagger in his heart and died, calling out a final goodbye to his reflected image. 

When Narcissus died, wasting away before his own reflection, consumed by a love that could not be, Echo mourned over his body. As he was looking one last time into the pool uttered, “Oh marvellous boy, I loved you in vain, farewell”, Echo too chorused, “Farewell.”

The myth tells that where his blood soaked the earth sprung up the white narcissus flower with its red corollary, forever growing at the water’s edge, its head inclined towards the water.

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interpretation

Many issues traditionally associated with the mirror are present in this myth by Ovid.

Firstly, Beauty. Ovid characterizes it in two ways. On the one hand, he defines it as divine. Since Narcissus is the son of a river, Cephissos, and a nymph of great beauty, LiriopeThe poem also compares Narcissus hair with Apollo´s.

Moreover, the poet evokes the effects of its beauty. The text constantly plays with “water” and “erotic fire”, as it appears in the eyes of the young, reaching torches and funeral fires. He also mentions the alternating brightness and burning, and shade and coolness.

The combination of Beauty and Death, entailed by Love, finds its ultimate expression in the last image of Narcissus, who still faces each other, as in the mirror of Persephone, in the water of the Styx.

But the main subtle topic, before that one of Beauty, is Illusion, announced in the episode of Echo. Narcissus, deceived in the beginning (verse 385) by duplicating the voice is then victim of the  of his appearance . Since Eco is condemned to imitation, she does not cease to be “another”, much more different as their otherness as marked on the opposition of the sexes. 

Echo is not just the female counterpart of Narcissus, as it is not a series of  opposed elements, the most important of which is that she loves him and he did not. Echo is, in the aural scope, the equivalent of the reflection that captivates Narcissus´eyes.

And in that slip of the reciprocal element of Love, the reflective, homoeroticism – is a decisive step: it is one of the rejected male lovers who, as Aminias invokes divine vengeance against Narcissus (verses 404/405).

The illusion that produces the fallacious spring (verse 427) is expressed in two ways.

Replaced by the unreal reality, a body of flesh turns into a reflection of water: without consistency (verse 417), a living being a fugitive image (verse 431). Narcissus (verse 432) does not know the impalpable nature of reflection. The error of Narcissus is shown firstly when he has a dialogue with his own image (verses 458/459), moving from illusory reciprocity to pure reflexivity: “You, that’s me I ” (verse 463). Narcissus, who is attracted by his double, will not be soon more than a shadow in Hades, who will yet be looking for its reflection.

Thus, Narcissus is merely image. Since his body rejects any contact with the other, since he is not intended to embrace an impalpable image of his own reflection. The iconic character is inevitably highlighted  When Narcissus is enraptured in front of his double,  he compares himself with “a statue carved in marble of Paros” (verse 419).

*Note: I wrote this section based on a book in Spanish. Source: Frontisi-Ducroux, Françoise; Vernant, Jean- Pierre. “En El Ojo del Espejo” ( “Dans l´Oeil du Miroir”). Buenos Aires. Fondo de Cultura. 1999.-

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"Echo And Narcissus" by John William Waterhouse (1903).-

“Echo And Narcissus” by John William Waterhouse (1903).-

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“Narcissus and Echo”: Excerpts from Ovid´s Metamorphoses. Book III.  (Lines 339/508).

“While he is drinking he beholds himself reflected in the mirrored pool—and loves; loves an imagined body which contains no substance, for he deems the mirrored shade a thing of life to love”.

“All that is lovely in himself he loves, and in his witless way he wants himself:—he who approves is equally approved; he seeks, is sought, he burns and he is burnt. And how he kisses the deceitful fount; and how he thrusts his arms to catch the neck that’s pictured in the middle of the stream! Yet never may he wreathe his arms around that image of himself”.

“What is it I implore? The thing that I desire is mine—abundance makes me poor. Oh, I am tortured by a strange desire unknown to me before, for I would fain put off this mortal form; which only means I wish the object of my love away”.

“As often as the love-lore boy complained, “Alas!” “Alas!” her echoing voice returned; and as he struck his hands against his arms, she ever answered with her echoing sounds. And as he gazed upon the mirrored pool he said at last, “Ah, youth beloved in vain!” “In vain, in vain!” the spot returned his words; and when he breathed a sad “farewell!” “Farewell!” sighed Echo too”.

“And now although among the nether shades his sad sprite roams, he ever loves to gaze on his reflection in the Stygian wave. His Naiad sisters mourned, and having clipped their shining tresses laid them on his corpse: and all the Dryads mourned: and Echo made lament anew. And these would have upraised his funeral pyre, and waved the flaming torch, and made his bier; but as they turned their eyes where he had been, alas he was not there! And in his body’s place a sweet flower grew, golden and white, the white around the gold”.

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"Narcissus transforms into a flower" by Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié (1771).-

“Narcissus transforms into a flower” by Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié (1771).-

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Narcissus Flower.

Narcissus Flower.

Narcissus´myth helped coining the word “Narcissism“.

After- and probably as a consequence of having  rejected the nymph Echo- he  fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus kept on gazing  into the pool until he finally changed into a flower, the narcissus. 

Narcissim is related to the concept of excessive selfishness and  egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.

Narcissism is a concept in psychoanalytic theory, which was popularly introduced in Sigmund Freud’s essay “On Narcissism” (1914).

The American Psychiatric Association has had the classification narcissistic personality disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) since 1968, drawing on the historical concept of megalomania, meaning “a condition or mental illness that causes people to think that they have great or unlimited power or importance”. (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others feelings. People affected often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power, success, or their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations. The dynamo of Narcissistic personality disorder is the so-called “Narcissistic supply“, which is a concept introduced into psychoanalytic theory by Otto Fenichel in 1938, to describe a type of admiration, interpersonal support or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment and essential to their self-esteem.

The term is typically used in a negative sense, describing a pathological or excessive need for attention or admiration in dependents and the orally fixated, that does not take into account the feelings, opinions or preferences of other people.

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following  symptoms:

♠Has a grandiose sense of self-importance. This entails a sustained, unrealistic sense of being superior—better than other people. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness; the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.

♠Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. 

♠Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, etc. This refers to the narcissist’s need to fend off inner emptiness, feel special and in control, and avoid feelings of defectiveness and insignificance.

♠Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

♠Requires excessive admiration. Narcissists need admiration all the time. They surround themselves with others who will give them positive reinforcement.

♠Has a very strong sense of entitlement, i.e, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

♠Is exploitative of others. Narcissists lack empathy, feel entitled and above the rules, and see other people as appendages whose sole purpose is to fill them with narcissistic supply. 

♠Lacks empathy, this  is a hallmark of the disorder in the same way that fear of abandonment is in borderline personality disorder.

♠Is often envious of others. Narcissists must be superior to others in every single way. So when someone else has something they don’t have that they want: admiration, status, skills, objects, the narcissist sees it as a major threat. Like so much else in the narcissistic mind, it is unconscious, discounted and denied, which makes it more treacherous for the object of his envy.

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"Narcissus" by Gustave Moreau (19th century).-

“Narcissus” by Gustave Moreau (19th century).-

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⭐️Links Post⭐️:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(mythology)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_(mythology)
http://www.shmoop.com/echo-narcissus/summary.html
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses3.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/megalomania
https://www.bpdcentral.com/narcissistic-disorder/hallmarks-of-npd/
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

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plato beauty

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According to Plato, Beauty was an idea or Form of which beautiful things were consequence.

Beauty by comparison begins in the domain of intelligible objects, since there is a Form of beauty. The most important question is: what do all of these beautiful things have in common?. To know that is to know Beauty.

The Theory of Forms maintains that two distinct levels of reality exist: the visible world of sights and sounds that we inhabit and the intelligible world of Forms that stands above the visible world and gives it being. For example, Plato maintains that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself, and we are able to identify the beauty in a person or a painting only because we have this conception of Beauty in the abstract. In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty.

Plato’s account in the Symposium connects beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form. 

Beauty’s distinctive pedagogical effects show why Plato talks about its goodness and good consequences, sometimes even its identity with “the good” (Laws 841c; Philebus 66a–b; Republic, 401c; Symposium 201c, 205e).

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In Plato´ Symposium, Socrates claims to be quoting his teacher Diotima on the subject of love, and in her lesson she calls beauty the object of every love’s yearning.

She spells out the soul’s progress toward ever-purer beauty, from one body to all, then through all beautiful souls, laws, and kinds of knowledge, to arrive at beauty itself.

By going through these stages, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

Diotima suggests that a life gazing upon and pursuing this Beauty is the best life one can lead.

In the Symposium, the Form of Beauty is the final stage in the lover of knowledge’s ascent toward Beauty.

He begins by loving particular bodies, moving from there to bodies in general, to particular minds, to minds in general, to laws and practices, to knowledge, and finally to the knowledge of the Form of Beauty. The ascent is one of increasing generalization where one’s love of beauty comes to embrace more and more things.

Ultimately, however, one’s love of beauty will embrace only one thing, the Form of Beauty, but one will recognize in this Form all that is beautiful. 

There is, besides, a sense of what Beauty may be: the signs of measure and proportion signal its presence and it is linked with goodness and justice.

Beauty here is conceived as perfect unity, or indeed as the principle of unity itself. 

Plato´s Beauty Theory, as it appears in the Symposium, holds that the Beautiful is an objective quality which is more or less intensified in and exemplified by beautiful or less beautiful objects respectively. Beauty itself exists independently of the object’s relationship to a perceiver or of its being a means to some end.

The Beautiful, then, regardless of what it is, exists as a thing in itself, separate from and supreme in relation to the beautiful objects which are beautiful by somehow sharing in its being. 

There is something innate and yet external to a beautiful object. Its beauty is there independently of a perceiver, and its being beautiful or not does not depend upon personal evaluations

Plato´s ideas could be considered as a sample of the prevailing classical conception.

According to it, Beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to order, proportion and symmetry.

The ancient Roman architec Vitruvius gives as good a characterization of the classical conception in its underlying unity:

Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of the work separately, and as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion with a view to a symmetrical result.

Proportion implies a graceful semblance: the suitable display of details in their context, when everything has a symmetrical correspondence.

Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the work itself: the correspondence of each given detail to the form of the design as a whole.  (Vitruvius, 26–27)

Plato regarded beauty as objective in the sense that it was not localized in the response of the beholder.  

In spite of Plato´s theories, we should now wonder if Beauty is an Universal Quality recognizable per se …  

In other words… Is Beauty a relative assessment, which lies in the eye of the beholder…

If we believe so, then we should conclude that Beauty is created by a subjective judgment, in which each person determines whether something is beautiful or not. 

If we agree with Plato, and therefore state that Beauty is pattern or form from which all beautiful things are derived, then we are assuming that Beauty is an objective feature.

By that our postulate would be that most perceivers would agree when it comes to determine whether something or someone is beautiful or not.

Without needing to take a side, we can say that it is both things…

Beauty couldn´t be entirely subjective—that is, if anything that anyone holds to be or experiences as beautiful is beautiful then it seems that the word has no meaning, or that we are not communicating anything when we call something beautiful except perhaps an approving personal attitude. 

In addition, though different persons can of course differ in particular judgments, it is also obvious that our judgments coincide to a certain extent.

Either way, what we can certainly state is that our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion.

In this sense, there are certain aesthetical features which might entail Beauty.

Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy. This is suggested in the following famous image showing an idealized human body within a square and a circle.

Leonardo da Vinci‘s drawings of the human body emphasized its proportion. The ratio of the following distances in the above Vitruvian Man image is approximately the Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

With the math behind it, the symmetry of your face can be measured. The closer this number is to 1.618, the more beautiful it is…

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The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

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The Vitruvian Man, drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, showing the body dimensiones, according to the Golden Ratio.

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myths on beauty

Following up with the previous philosophical introduction, I would like to bring to the spotlight a few greek mythological myths and certain thoughts, with regard to the idea of Beauty.

Firstly, the most well known case of the Judgement of Paris and the story of the Golden Apple of Discord.

The Judgement of Paris was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena–for the prize of a golden apple addressed to “the fairest”.

While Paris inspected them, each of the goddess attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, offered the world’s most beautiful woman.

On a side note, It is worth noting how mant times “Beauty” appears in this myth.

At the end, Paris chose Aphrodite, who was the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and Helen of Troy, who was considered the most beautiful woman, was bestowed on him, in exchange.

As to the beautiful Helen of Troy, she was also known as the face that launched a thousand ships, therefore somehow associated with features such as discord and betrayal.

The reason behind such reputation is that Helen of Troy was married by the time of the deal among the Prince of Troy and Aphrodite.

Hence Paris decided to abduct her, event which would eventually lead to the Trojan War

In this sense, the Golden Apple was the biggest but also the most controversial prize. Besides and presumably, in the mythology surrounding “the Judgement of Paris”, the goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter The Garden of the Hesperides, which was Hera´s orchard, and plucked one of the fruits . We can therefore see why that golden apple go was also known as the Apple of Discord.

As to other quarrels originated due to similar smug assumptions involving Beauty, I would like to mention two cases, which are very similar when it comes to events and their consequences.

The first one features Myrrha, who was Adonis biological mother.

Myrrha’s mother had said that her daughter was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the Goddess of Love, who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

Thus, Myrrha became pregnant and gave birth to Adonis, who was raised by Aphrodite. 

Adonis was very handsome, so, further on, Persephone was taken by his beauty, reason which brought a new quarrel among goddesses. In this case, between Aphrodite and Persephone.

Secondly, we have the well known myth of Perseus´beloved, Andromeda.

Her mother, Cassiopeia had offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage Andromeda´s father kingdom.

In all cases, Beauty causes troubles. We could say that it puts in the seeds of conflict.

Its counterpoint and collateral effect is jealousy. But also a sense of unnecessary pride and vanity seems to be present here.

Beauty claims to be defined in an extended way beyond itself… It needs to be recognized.

We could say that Beauty is defined by and to the Other.

Thus, in this order of ideas, we could think that Beauty seems to be an existentialist way to experience the Beautiful. 

Intersubjectivity defines Beauty and the Other’s look constitutes the world and the beautiful as objective. This is because the Look tends to objectify what it sees.

Undoubtedly, there are subjective elements which help us define Beauty… But those ones, as Social Constructivists would state, are not necessarily individual but colective and cultural.

On the other hand, one can not deny that certain general and universal features, are linked to the idea of Beauty. 

Therefore and figuratively speaking, I believe that  Beauty would be a sui generis concept, constituted mainly by objective and intersubjective variables, which may vary according to time and contexts.

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►Gallery: “Some Greek Myths based on Beauty”:

(Click on the images for further details)

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►Playtime!:Is your face geometrically beautiful?:

Supposedly, when it comes to Beauty, the simplest measurement is the length of your face divided by the widest part of your face.

As previously mentioned above, the closer this number is to 1.618, i.e Golden Ratio, the more beautiful the person is…

There are countless ratios that can be measured, but the website Anaface will generate a computer calculation online of a few of these ratios, from your uploaded photo for free.

An important detail is that you ought to use the photograph URL. It didn’t work for me when I tried upload he image from my computer…

For that purpose, send yourself an email with the photograph and then copy paste its URL, as shown in the gallery.

Furthermore. keep in mind that the more horizontally your face is placed, the more reliable the results will be.

Use as a model the photograph provided in order to locate the points, especially if your ears don´t show up in the photograph due to your hair… 

Follow up the instructions and you´ll soon get your score. Click on the images in the gallery below for further details …

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►Last but not Least: Quote Challenge: Beauty:

Paul from Pal Fitness has nominated me for a so called 3-Day Quote Challenge. Please Check out Paul´s blog. He is a personal trainer and coach, who loves blogging and writing. 

The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
⚠ Note: I will post the three (3) quotes together. Thus I will nominate nine (9) Bloggers.
Also, I thought It would be pertinent to choose quotes on Beauty, alongside photographs taken by me, which you will be able to see in my Instagram account... All this aims to keep it on with the topic of this post… So that’s how I will do it :D. If you have been nominated, feel free to join the challenge if you feel it is worth it, want to and/or have time to do so. You can to pick out whichever creative license regarding this feature. 

My nominees for the Quote Challenge are: 1. D.G.Kaye Writer 2. Parlor of Horror 3. Course of Mirrors 4. Living the Dream 5. Solveig Werner 6. Scribble and Scrawl  7. Round World and Me 8. The Lonely Author 9. Aidyl93

►Three Quotes on Beauty by John Keats, and some Photographs:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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Links Post:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/plato/
http://www.anaface.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/#ClaCon
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://asifoscope.org/2013/05/10/on-beauty/
http://www.intmath.com/blog/mathematics/is-she-beautiful-the-new-golden-ratio-4149
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/plato/themes.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
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atlas

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“Atlas holding up a celestial map”. Sculpture by Artus Quellinus. (17th century). Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

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Atlas (which means ‘very enduring’), was one of the Titans. He was son of  Iapetus (a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaia), and the Oceanid Clymene.

Atlas´ brothers were Prometheus (meaning ‘forethought’, the Titan who gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork), Epimetheus (meaning ‘afterthought’. He was Pandora´s husband) and Menoetius (meaning “doomed might”).

Atlas was married to his sister, Phoebe (Titan and Goddess of Prophecy). 

He had numerous children, including  the Pleiades (the stars that announced good spring weather), the Hesperides (the maidens who guarded a tree bearing golden apples), the Hyades, (the stars that announced the rainy season), Hyas (Brother of the Hyades, and spirit of seasonal rains), the nymph Calypso, Dione (Goddess of the Oak and the personification of a more ancient Mother Goddess, and presumably, Aphrodite´s mother) and Maera

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During the Titanomachy, the War between the Titans and  the Olympian gods for control of the heavens, Atlas and his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus helped the Olympian gods.

Atlas was the leader in the batttle; however, being on the losing side, Zeus condemned him to eternally stand on the western side of Gaia (the earth) holding Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders.

Homer describes Atlas in his “Odyssey” as ‘deadly-minded’ and as holding the pillars which hold the heavens and earth apart.

Hesiod  in his “Theogony” also describes Atlas as holding up the heavens and locates him in the land of the Hesperides (female deities famed for their singing), which was far to the west, at the edge of the world.

Later tradition, including Herodotus, associates the god with the Atlas Mountains where the Titan was transformed from a shepherd into a huge rock mountain by Perseus (who had behead Medusa)using the head of the Gorgon Medusa with her deadly stare. (Note: the Gorgon Medusa was one of three ugly monsters who had snakes for hair, staring eyes, and huge wings).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Medusa”, by Carvaggio (1595). On the Right: Statue of Perseus, holding Medusa´s head. Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Italy.

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Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

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Atlas was considered a source of great wisdom and founder of astronomy, and, according to Plato, in his dialogue “Critias”, he was the original king of Atlantis.

Atlas had been required to fetch the golden apples from the fabled gardens of the Hesperides which were sacred to Zeus´wife, Hera, and guarded by the fearsome hundred-headed dragon Ladon.  

Following the advice of Prometheus, Heracles (the grandson of Perseus) asked Atlas to get him the apples because he was the father of the Hesperides, who guarded the Golden Apples´Garden…

He was also requested to take the world onto his shoulders for a while, with the help of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.

But, Hercules tricked Atlas into taking the load back by asking Atlas to hold it while he shifted the load.

Hercules then took the apples and Atlas again shouldered the weight of the heavens.

Because the place where Atlas stood to perform his task was the westernmost end of the world known to the ancient Greeks, the ocean near him was called the Atlantic, meaning the “Sea of Atlas” in his honor.

Atlas’ best-known cultural association is in cartography / maps. The first publisher to associate the Titan Atlas with a group of maps was Antonio Lafreri, on an engraved title-page in 1572. However, he did not use the word “atlas” in the title of his work. The mapmaker Gerardus Mercator was the first to put a picture of Atlas holding up the world – not the heavens – on the title page of his book.

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On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders - from a 16th century English woodcut. on The Right: Drawing by Danckerts, Justus. Atlas hold up the world on his back.

On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders – from a 16th century English woodcut. On The Right: Atlas holding up the world on his back. Drawing by Danckerts, Justus.

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“Atlas turned to stone” (The Perseus´Series), by Edward Burne Jones (1878).

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►Gallery: Atlas:

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►Links Post
http://atlascider.com/atlasmythology.html
http://www.greekmythology.com/Titans/Atlas/atlas.html
https://mitologiahelenica.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/perseu-e-atlas/
http://www.mapforum.com/03/lafrscho.htm
http://www.ancient.eu/Atlas/

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atlaspoem

I want to be your Atlas, so I can
chisel away at “alas,” and grant you
relief from worries of the past.

I want to create a globe out
of those woes
to carry on my shoulders—
just for a moment.

Just so you can exhale the words:

“At last”.

© 2015 – Eva PoeteX

Originally published on Eva PoeteX.-

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About Eva Xanthopoulos: She is a Greco-American Artist and Mystic Poet. She is also a  Supporter of various causes and Promoter of artists worldwide.

Learn More about Eva here 

Check out her Poetry blog!. Also make sure to follow Eva on Twitter and  Facebook.

 •~~~•  •~~~•  •~~~•  •~~~•  •~~~•  •~~~• 

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Eva Poetex.

Eva Xanthopoulos AKA Eva Poetex.

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the centaurs

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“Centaur and Cupid” by Gustave Moreau. 19th century.

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The Centaurs were a tribe of half man, half horse savages which inhabited the mountains and forests of Magnesia. 

Another tribe of Centaurs resided in the western Peloponnese where they came into conflict with the hero Heracles.

The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera, Zeus‘ Wife):

Ixion fell in love with Hera and tried to rape her, and when Hera told Zeus about it, Zeus wanted to determine if her report was really true. So he fashioned a cloud (nephele) to look like Hera, and laid it by Ixion’s side. When Ixion bragged that he had slept with Hera, Zeus punished him by tying him to a wheel, on which he was turned by winds up in the air. The cloud bore Kentauros (Centaurus) from Ixion’s seed. [Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E1. 20 C2nd A.D.)].~

In the  earliest accounts, the centaurs appear merely as a sort of gigantic, savage, or animal-like beings; whereas, in later writers, they are described as monsters, with the upper body of a man, from head to loins, set upon the body of a horse.

Sometimes, they had the facial feature of a man, at other times they were portrayed with the snub nose and pointed ears of a rustic Satyr.

It is probably owing to the resemblance between the nature of the centaurs and that of the satyrs, that the former were in later times drawn into the sphere of Dionysiac beings; but here they appear no longer as savage monsters, but as tamed by the power of the god.

They are described as leading a rude and savage life, occasionally carrying off the women of their neighbours, as covered with hair and ranging over their mountains like animals. 

The Centaurs are best known for their fight against their cousins, The Lapith tribe, a legendary people of Greeks, whose home was in Thesaly. This fight was caused by the Centaurs’ attempt attempt to carry off  Princess Hippodamia and the rest of the Lapith women on the day of Hippodamia’s marriage to Pirithous, king of  Lapithae.

Pirithous and his friend, Theseus, led the Lapiths to victory over the Centaurs in a battle known as Centauromachy.

The kentauros had come to the Lapithai’s country, and now with wine he clouded his understanding and in his frenzy did monstrous things in the very hall of Peirithoos. The heroes were seized with indignation; they leapt up, they dragged the kentauros across the courtyard and out of doors, they lopped off his ears and nose with the ruthless bronze, and the frenzied creature went his way, taking his retribution with him in his still darkened mind. From this beginning came the long feud between men and Kentauroi (Centaurs) [Homer, Odyssey 21. 293 ff (Greek epic C8th B.C.)].~

The centaur is incorporated into the Zodiac sign for Sagittarius, with the bow and arrow, whose symbolism could be understood as a shamanic reference to mystic or visionary travel.

Centaurs are the antithesis of the knight and the horseman. Instead of mastering or taming their instincts, the centaurs are ruled by them. The exception is the wise Centaur Chiron.

Chiron’s mother was the nymph Philyra who was coupling with Cronos when his wife suddenly appeared on the scene. To escape notice he transformed himself into a horse, and in this way sired a half-equine son.

Chiron’s physical appearance often differs somewhat from other centaurs, demonstrating his status and heritage. In traditional Greek representations of Chiron his front legs are human, rather than equine, this is in contrast to the traditional representation of centaurs,which have the entire lower body of a horse. This clearly sets Chiron apart from the other centaurs, making him easily identifiable.

Besides, centaurs were notorious for being wild and lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated. Chiron, by contrast Chiron was notable throughout Greek mythology for his youth-nurturing nature. 

Myths in the Olympian tradition attributed Chiron’s uniquely peaceful character and intelligence to teaching by Apollo and his sister Artemis.

Chiron would also teach Apollo’s son, Asclepius, and Achilles, the best fighter of the Greeks besieging Troy in the Trojan War.

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“Walking Ride”, by Franz von Stuck (1903).

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“Pallas and Centaur” by Sandro Botticell (1482).

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Gallery: “The Centaurs”:

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►Links Post:
http://www.ancient.eu/centaur/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur
http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/KentauroiThessalioi.html
http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/KentaurosKheiron.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodamia_(wife_of_Pirithous)

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Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

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►”My Audio Poem at La Poesía no Muerde”:

~”Tiempo Perpetuo”/ “Perpetual Time”. [July 14th, 2015].~

In this occasion, my poem “Perpetual Time” has been featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”. I both wrote and read the poem. The video poem was created by Hélène Laurent. Check out the original post here.

En este caso, mi poema “Tiempo Perpetuo” ha sido publicado en “La Poesía no Muerde”. Se trata de un poema con audio, leído y escrito por mí. El video fue creado por Hélène Laurent. Consultar el post orginal aquí.

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►La Poesía no Muerde~Audio Poem ~

“Tiempo Perpetuo”  / “Perpetual Time” 

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~Perpetual Time~
 
And now …
Where do our memories remain,
those dark splendors?
These barren wastelands were springs
and blue rains,
fruitful outdoors;
Now just grooves of Time … 
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Cracks of your footsteps.
Surreptitious hollows and shadows.
Unrelenting water flows,
like a river of time.
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From a subterraneous mirror drops gurgling.
Your hand exchanging movements,
trapping me inside the storm that precedes any drought.
An hourglass, greedy, thirsty. 
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And a thousand ships crossing the Lethe,
the salty river of forgetfulness .
Thirst and desire, outsider lighthouses.
All memory is dryness,
vague journey  from Present to Past. 
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 Echo, repetition
[Echo] …
dissolved into nothing.
Your summer fertility
turns against me.
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Crater of fire.
Unattainable …
Wind setback,
disintegrating summer abysses  
Beaches devastated by your flames
like a cup filled with ashes.
Legacy of a temporary fold …
Lost constellations.
—–
guarda01
© Amalia Pedemonte. 2015.~

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►Last but not Least: “Three Awards”:

I would like to thank  bloggers from 4 Years Old Adult, The Wall Gallery Blog and Ser un Ser de Luz for nominating my blog for a Brotherhood Award, a Creative Blogger Award and a Bor Litarcihis Award, respectively.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

•Rules for the Brotherhood Award and Creative Blogger Award: ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

•Notes:

-As always I am not answering questions. Hence, I will just nominate ten bloggers per award.

-If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just click on the award for which you have been nominated for. That way you’ll be able to grab in regular size!.~🍃 🍃🍃 ~

I. Nominees for the Brotherhood Award: 1. Mind Love Misery 2. Henry West 3. Truels 4 . BerlinArt2 5. Round World and Me 6. The Reading Bud 7. The Wall Gallery Blog 8. Ser un Ser de Luz 9. Kintal 10. Aqua Compass 7.

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II. Nominees for the Creative Blogger Award: 1. Tuesdays with Laurie 2. Voices from the Margins 3. Renne Johnson Writes 4 . Upchucking Words 5. Fiesta Estrella 6. Close to Eighty 7. Friendly Fairy Tales 8. Mieux Vivre Jardin 9. 4 Year Old Adult 10. Implied Spaces.

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III. Nominees for the Bor Litarcihis Award: I will follow Silvia´s rules in this case. And I will leave this Award open to all bloggers who want to pick it up and pass it on to other bloggers. 

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►Bonustrack. Some recent Photographs ….

Selfies and Evening Views. Buenos Aires

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ZEUS AND LETO

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“Latona and the Lycian Peasants” by David Teniers II. (17th century).

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Leto (which means”the hidden one”. Roman equivalent: Latona) was daughter of the Titans Coeus (Polus) and Phoebe and the sister of Asteria.
In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, (The Letoides).

Zeus married is sister Hera while Leto was already pregnant. While the pregnancy started before the marriage, Hera was still jealous of Leto.

Hence, as Hyginus, in his book “Fabulae” states, Hera banned Leto from giving birth on any island at sea, or any place under the sun.

Finally, she found an island (Delos, that wasn’t attached to the ocean floor so it wasn’t considered land and she could give birth there.

Leto easily brought forth Artemis, the elder twin.  By contrast, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days in order to give birth to Apollo.

The births took place in the presence of the witnesses goddesses Dione (an Oceanid, a water-nymph, the goddess Dione, in her name simply the “Goddess”, is sometimes taken as a mere feminine form of Zeus ), Rhea (mother of the Olympian Goddesses and Gods, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right), Ichnaea (an epithet given to Nemesis), Themis (a Titaness, who was the personification of divine order and law) and the sea-goddess Amphitrite (Poseidon‘s wife).

Hera kept apart as she used her own daughter Eileithvia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor.

Instead Artemis, having been born first, assisted with the birth of her twin brother, Apollo.

Going further, ancient greek grammarian, Antoninus Liberalis considers that Leto sought out the “wolf-country” of Lycia.  Another sources link Leto with wolves and the Hyperboreans, people connected with the worship of Apollo at Delphi and of Artemis at Delos and named that way with reference to Boreas, the north wind.

Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. 

Besides, Leto has been probably identified with the Lycian Godess of Fertility, Lada, also knwon as Kourotrophos (Rearer of Youths).

Leto’s primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon. Her Titan father is called “Coeus”, and, he is in some Roman sources given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole. The name of Leto’s mother, “Phoebe” (“pure, bright”), is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo.

In Greek inscriptions, the Letoides (Apollo and Artemis) are referred to as the “national gods” of the country.

 There were two sanctuaries dedicated to Leto, the Letoon, near Xanthos and the Oenoanda, in the north of Lycia.

►Other episodes related to Leto:

In Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (Book VI), he tells the sad story of Niobe’s children, which involves Leto, Artemis and Apollo.

•Niobe, a queen of Thebes, boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (The Niobids), seven sons and seven daughters, while Leto had only two. Aiming to punish Niobe due to her pride, Apollo killed her sons, and Artemis her daughters. Niobe cried so much that her tears formed the river Achelous.

Zeus seconded Leto as he made sure to turn all the people of Thebes to stone so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.

•Leto was threatened in her wanderings by the giant Tityos who attempted to rape her. Also she was assailed by the dragon Python. In both occasions, Leto’s son, Apollo was able to eliminate the threats, even if he was just a God child.

•During her wanderings with her children, Apollo and Artemis, Leto reached Lycia (nowadays located in southern Turkey).

Exhausted, she decided to halt and saw down in a valley a pond around which peasants were busy gathering rushes and algae. Attracted by its clear water, she went to drink from it. But the peasants objected and forbade her from drinking from the pond, ordering Leto to leave the place. 

Enraged, Leto cursed them. Soon after that, the metamorphosis began and the peasants of Lycia became frogs, as they were condemned to live forever like this in the slime of their pond, fulfilling the curse of Latona.

This last episeode is depicted in the Latona Fountain, at the Château de Versailles, France. This Fountain’s construction took, over twenty years (from 1666 to 1689) and it was built during  Louis XIV’s reign.

Some historians have interpreted the Latona fountain as an allegory of the victory of Louis XIV over the Fronde, the rebellion of the nobles against the power of the monarchy during the childhood of Louis XIV. Latona, the mother of Apollo, represents Anne of Austria, the mother of Louis XIV and regent during the Fronde. The metamorphosis of the peasants into frogs illustrates the punishment reserved to those who dare to rebel against the royal authority.

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 Latona Turning the Lycians Peasants into Frogs

“Latona Turning the Lycians Peasants into Frogs”, by Johann Georg Platzer. (1730)

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“Latona Changing the Lycian Peasants into Frogs” by Jacopo Tintoretto. (16th century).

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“Landscape with Latona and the Peasants”, by Sinibaldo Scorza (1620).

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►”The Myth of Leto / Latona”:

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►Gallery: “Leto” / “The Latona Fountain” [Château de Versailles]:

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“Latona (Leto) and Her children (Apollo and Diana/Artemis)”, by William Henry Rinehart (1874). Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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“Latona (Leto) and Her children (Apollo and Diana/Artemis)”, by William Henry Rinehart. (1874). Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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►Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leto
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/337395/Leto
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/279545/Hyperborean
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/11923
http://latone.chateauversailles.fr/en/page/the-latona-fountain/history-of-the-latona-fountain

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►Book Tour: 

“Olga Núñez Miret tells us about her Trilogy Angelic Business“:

🔥💥In this ocassion, Olga is close to oficially release a book trilogy, which is already available for pre-order at Amazon… Let’s listen to what she has to say about it!… It is all yours, Olga!…  💥🔥 

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer, translator, reader, psychiatrist.
I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and recently have taken up meditation (mindfulness). (I thought I might as well summarise and not take too much of your time). 

I’ve been writing since I was quite young and I write in whatever style the story I have in my head wants to be written in. So far literary fiction, romance, YA, thriller… and a few unfinished works. 

Around five years ago I discovered and read quite a few interesting Young Adult books and had an idea for what I thought could be a series. At the time I wrote the first of the novels and after trying to find an agent or a traditional publisher without much success, I started self-publishing, but decided to publish some of my other books first. Since then I’ve published twelve books (six original books and their translations, as I write in English and Spanish). 

I kept thinking about “Angelic Business” and, a few months later, I wrote the second novel in the series: “Shades of Greg”. (No, nothing to do with…). 

And last year, as part of NaNoWriMo I wrote the third novel in the series, “Pink, Angel or Demon?”. 

As I had written the three, I thought I’d publish them pretty close to each other so people wouldn’t have to wait to know what happened next (at least not too much)…. [Olga Núñez Miret].-

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“Angelic Business”, the three books of the series, by author Olga Núñez Miret.

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The trilogy “Angelic Business” is already available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 each. You’ll find blurbs of each book on the links below. Check them out!:

•”Pink Matters” is currently available at Amazon for pre-order and will be published on June 26th.

•”Shapes of Greg” is available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published on July 15th.

•”Pink, Angel or Demon?” is available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published on July 30th.

►Connect with Author Olga Núñez Miret on her BlogFacebook, TwitterGoodreads and Wattpad.

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Olga Núñez Miret

Author Olga Núñez Miret.

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►Last but not Least: “Three Awards”:

I would like to thank bloggers from Risty´s Breath, Life as we See It and Splashed for nominating my blog for a Versatile Blogger Award (Red Version), a Creative Blogger Award and a Sunshine Award, respectively.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

•Rules for these Three Awards: ♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award. ♠ Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

•Note: If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just click on the award for which you have been awarded to. That way you’ll be able to grab in regular size!.~ 🍒 🍒 🍒 

I. Nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Lucinda E Clarke 2. Missing the Muse 3. Caterina Rotondi 4. The Book Haven 5. Hyperion Sturm 6. Simonjohnsonofclowne 7. Life as we See It 8. Books and Hot Tea 9. Makeup and Breakup 10. Life and Light.

II. Nominees for the Sunshine Award:

1. I.J.Keddie 2. Unbuttoned or Undone 3. View from a Burrow 4. Loujen Haxm ´Yor 5. Writing Between the Lines 6. Janna T Writes 7. Breathing Space 8. A Chaos Fairy Realm 9. The Four Rooms 10. Rambles, Writing and Amusing Musings.

III. Nominees for the Creative Blogger Award:

1. Beguiling Hollywood 2. First Night Design 3. Peak Perspective 4. Risty´s Breath 5. Splashed 6. Micheline Walker 7. A Little Bird Tweets 8. Millie Thom 9. Yadadarcyyada 10. The Woman Who.

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HERA

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"The Peacock complaining to Juno", by Gustave Moreau (1881).

“The Peacock complaining to Juno”, by Gustave Moreau (1881).

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Hera (Roman equivalent: Juno) was Zeus’ wife and sister, and was raised by the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. She was the supreme goddess, patron of marriage, family and childbirth, having a special interest in protecting married women. 

Hera, like her siblings, was swallowed by her father Cronos (Rhea‘s husband) as soon as she was born.

Zeus with the help of Metis later tricked Cronos into a swallowing a potion that forced him to disgorge his offspring.

The legitimate offspring of her union with Zeus are Ares (the god of war), Hebe (the goddess of youth), Eris (the goddess of discord) and Eileithvia (goddess of childbirth).  

Johann Jakob Bachofen (“An Investigation of the Religious and Juridical Character of Matriarchy in the Ancient [1861]), considered that Hera, was originally the goddess of a matriarchal people, presumably inhabiting Greece before the Hellenes. According to this author, her activity as goddess of marriage established the patriarchal bond of her own subordination.

Her sacred animals were the cow, the lion and the peacock, and she favoured the city of  Argos.

She is usually portrayed enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a sort of crown worn by several of the Goddesses.

 ►Three Myths featuring Hera.

•The Judgement of Paris:

Hera, Aphrodite and Athena were the three goddesses who all claimed to deserved the Golden Apple of Discord, introduced by  Eris in Peleus and Thetis‘ wedding. This golden apple was labeled “For the fairest one”). Zeus chose Prince Paris of Troy to decide who was the fairest. Still, Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful, so they resorted to bribes. Hera offered Paris control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame, and glory in battle, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. This woman was Helen of Troy, who was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris abducted Helen and her abduction would lead to the Trojan War.

Hephaestus, the son that Hera produced alone: 

Hera was jealous of Zeus’ giving birth to Athena, without recourse to her (actually with with Metis), so she gave birth to Hephaestus without him, though in some stories, he is the son of her and Zeus. Hera was then disgusted with Hephaestus’ ugliness and threw him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical throne which, when she sat on, did not allow her to leave. The other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he repeatedly refused. Dionysus got him drunk and took him back to Olympus on the back of a mule. Hephaestus released Hera after being given Aphrodite as his wife.

Heracles, disowned by Hera and… the Milky Way: 

Hera hated Heracles, being the scapegoat of the illegitimate offspring sired by Zeus. Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene.

Thus, Heracles’ existence proved at least one of Zeus’ many illicit affairs, and Hera usually conspired against him, as a revenge for her husband’s infidelities.

Fear of Hera’s revenge led Alcmene to expose the infant Heracles, but he was taken up and brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who played an important role as protectress of heroes.Hera did not recognize Heracles and nursed him out of pity. Heracles suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. But with divine milk, Heracles had acquired supernatural powers. Athena brought the infant back to his mother, and he was subsequently raised by his parents, who had originally named him Alcides, being Heracles a derivated name.

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“Juno Borrowing the Girdle of Venus” by Guy Head (1771).

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“Hera in the House of Hephaistos William” by Blake Richmond (1902),

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 ►Gallery: “Hera, Zeus’ Wife”:

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Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera
http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hera/hera.html

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Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

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→On May 12th I had the honor to be part of a poetic challenge at La Poesía No Muerde, a great community blog of Poetry, hosted by Hélène LaurentPlease, make sure to also read the poems by Verónica, from En Humor Arte; José from Viajes al Fondo del ALSA and Johan from Johan Cladheart.

Later on, that same week a second poem written by me was also posted at La Poesía No Muerde. (May 15th).
You can check out the poems, in Spanish and translated to English, below… 
 
→ Se adjuntan dos participaciones poéticas, del 12 y 15 de Mayo, respectivamente, publicadas inicialmente en La Poesía no Muerde.
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 ►La Poesía No Muerde: “The Walking Chair” (Imagen encontró Poemas):
~“Auf Wiedersehen, Liebling”… (“Hasta pronto, querido”).~
 
Llevo mi silla a cuestas,
como la conciencia del amo en el esclavo
Mas la carga es semántica, 
por eso… el oprobio. 
 ~~~
Y las contradicciones, son ideológicas, 
cada tarde esperándome, 
se arremolinan en pantallas
Ovejas de otro rebaño.
 ~~~
Mis ventanas las abro de noche
para que las esperanzas florezcan de día.
Procuro que los ideales clavados en el cielo ideal
estallen contra las estructuras materiales.
~~~ 
Mas sólo en términos dialécticos
Mi silla potencial es sólo un bloque de madera
Qué importa el futuro si todos los días
se clavan en un cetro onmímodo.
 ~~~
Auf wiedersehen, Liebling...
Hilos de títere en sus vetas inertes, 
tejen implacables
oleajes de río… 
  ~~~
 ©2015 Amalia Pedemonte.-
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 ►La Poesía No Muerde: “Imagen encontró (¡Otro!) Poema”.

~”Fragmento de un Final”.~

Corola tallada de pétalos sin flor.
una hoja con ápice impermeable.
Eterna y seca primavera,
rivera incipiente, sutilmente verde.

Una furtiva mirada azul
sobre un camino oscilante,
surcos muertos, árboles vacíos de hojas.
Bajo el sol inagotable del mediodía interminable.

~~~ 

Réplicas de galerías.
Redundantes sonidos.
Las palabras que no dijimos
te hacen una reverencia.

~~~ 

Tus fantasmas esculpen mis recuerdos.
Soy todo lo que fui en tu cautiverio,
persistes, con codicia te acumulas.
A cada nombre me retiro, te invoco y te devuelvo.

~~~

Te conjuro, brisa efímera .
Nunca volverás a ser mi aire.
Escúrrete por la puerta de las sombras y el olvido
Deja de asediarme…

 ~~~ 
 ©2015 Amalia Pedemonte.-
 
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 ► Last but not Least: Special thanks to Lisardo Sobrino Fernández for his poem Aquiles, on his blog, Tiempo de Letras.

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©2015. Lisardo Sobrino Fernández. Click Here: http://www.tiempodeletras.blogspot.com.es/2015/05/aquiles.html

©2015. Lisardo Sobrino Fernández. Click on the image.

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