Eidolon

http://www.poems.com/eidolter.htm

This poem bases itself on an odd premise from Euripides that I was unfamilar with until now; Helen never went to Troy at all, but instead the goddess Aphrodite replaced her with an illusion (an eidolon, or phantom).

 What is painfully absent from this poem is how Helen feels about this.  She is the speaker, but she recounts dryly things she did not do and feel.  I think we are to understand that she feels some regret that these dramatic and world-changing things never happened to her, but it is ambiguous.  I admire this poem a lot; the lack of emotional contact compels me to fill in blanks and ask questions, as well as giving the poem a certain air of austerity that seems appropriate to classical antiquity (though it was of course written much later).

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