Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The Etruscan museum is full of treasures like this Medusa.  Michael Grant in his book Roman Myths notes that the Etruscans failed to understand heroes or sympathise with the concept and therefore in their art tended to represent them as deities - gods and goddesses - sometimes winged (1971: p. 193).

Medusa is not winged but she bears the mark of her ancient past in her snake hair. She's a healer and extraordinarily powerful.

I've also been reading about the beginnings of Rome and a number of sibyls are implicated in its origin, specifically the Cumaean Sibyl whom Aeneas visited after leaving Carthage - Dido dead by suicide - and before going on to the place that will become Rome.

the call
that hollow sound of Cumaea
I was here before
thousands of years ago

your hundred mouths
words frothed at the edge
of my mouth

the journey looming
flight into the unknown
descent into
the dark thighs of your cave

my hair snake-wreathed
Etruscan Medusa
speaking with a hundred voices
the sibilant hiss of prophecy

seizure grasped
she flails at vanishing memory
bruised she rises from darkness
almost misses the plane

1 comment:

  1. Ah Susan, this is just wonderful. To be able to vicariously participate in the journey via your blog, is a privilege.

    Pat. M