Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Poem - 'To Helen' by Edgar Allen Poe

To Helen

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

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

Lo! in yon 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!

Why Edgar Allen Poe? Because I was in a fantasy poetry workshop recently and, naturally, Poe's name came up, reminding me of how much I'd love this poem as a girl - and still love it, although the sheer number of exclamation marks in the final stanza worry me, slightly.

Fantasy poetry, (and it's sisters, science fiction and speculative poetry) are marginalised areas of poetry these days but that was not always so. Edgar Allen Poem, Coleridge, Shelly and Keats all wrote poetry that can be called fantasy poetry. Of course, to stick to this theme I should have rightly showcased 'The Raven' but I wanted to return to the poem I learned by heart when I was young, and re-learnt recently in the Year of Remembering Poems.

Over at the Tuesday Poetry Blog there's also something slightly sinister going on...check it out and then step into Tuesday poetry worlds.

By the way, if anyone knows of any online or other journals accepting fantasy poetry, do let me know.


AJ Ponder said...

I love this old fashioned poetry, with its sense of wonder and mystery (And the romance of travel). Great choice.

Letter said...

Nice poem.I enjoyed reading it.

Joanne Horniman said...

I like a few exclamation marks myself! It's so daggy and you're not meant to do it overmuch!

Cattyrox said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the poem - Joanne - I guess at least there's a sense of exuberance in those exclamations!