Posted by Eric » Add Comment »
I confess I’d never heard of the Pennsylvanian sonneteer Lloyd Mifflin until recently. He has a goodly number of poems on classical subjects. The following, called ‘The Ship’, is a nice little reflection on the effects that the reading of Homer can bring to bear on the imagination. You can find it at Google books here.
I LAY at Delos of the Cyclades,
At evening, on a cape of golden land;
The blind Bard’s book was open in my hand,
There where the Cyclops makes the Odyssey’s
Calm pages tremble as Odysseus flees.
Then, stately, like a vision o’er the sand,
A phantom ship across the sunset strand
Rose out of dreams and clave the purple seas;
Straight on that city’s bastions did she run—
Whose toppling turrets on their donjons hold
Bells that to mortal ears have never tolled—
Then drifted down the gateway of the sun
With fading pennon and with gonfalon,
And dropped her anchor in the pools of gold.