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Friday, January 16, 2009

Poetry Friday: Hero and Leander

I've posted Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander before, and have been drawn to this one yet again.  This bleak winter is making me crave tragic tales of love.  (Not sure why.  And not sure what that says about me...If you have any recommendations for modern day tragic tales, comment away.) This poem, based on the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, fits the bill.  

For those who believe in love at first sight, here's part of a love epyllion (a short epic poem) by Christopher Marlowe

Really, not the most romantic myth for someone who's in love.

However, Marlowe's version of the poem ends before anything horrible happens. Scholars have wondered whether Marlowe intended to keep the poem as is, change the ending, or keep it true to the myth. 

Hero and Leander
by Christopher Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?


Kelly said...

I read his bio; that is one mysterious poet! I see why his poetry would be full of angst.

sheila said...

Modern day tragic tales? Have you ever seen the film Truly Madly Deeply? It's not new, but boy is it good.

I like a little angst in midwinter. I'm still playing some of my classical Christmas CDs, and each and every time I hear In The Bleak Midwinter I crank it up. I okay with a little wallow now and then.

Don't you love the names Hero and Leander? I'm not having any more kids, but maybe some cats...

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I TOTALLY get the angst right now. It's too freakin' cold. And I'm in the SOUTH even.

Leander IS a great name for a cat.

Thanks for the poem -- and the linkage.

TadMack said...

Will in us is overruled by fate...
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:...

Tsk. Mr. Marlowe will make dreamers of us all, with that "love at first sight" thing.

Sigh. Still. It's nice to dream. I'll be thinking of more tragic tales for you. Not my usual reading, but I know I've come across some...!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

So beautiful, HipWriterMama!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Beautiful poem, FULL of angst! I wish we had some of your cold out here in CA. It IS winter after all...