Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Sybil

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Sybil

Article excerpt

The way down is easy. Aeneid VI

I

Crossroads vision, medallion, wet star;

bull to my steer; to my bell, steady clapper,

the rope and, inside the wind's sleeve, that

arm that pulls and pulls it: by these and other

names was I told I should call to the god; and he -

I was what? a mere girl? And already: chosen.

II

I saw what desperate is, what also is faith:

gold bullion, some lord's staff or cloak - stiff,

precious; steam off beautiful beasts cut freshly down;

and those little sacrificial cakes, those

stand-ins for flesh, as if it were

that simple: some honey, some ground meal.

III

Have you ever seen them, the bodies

of the all but drowned, all blear, and ash?

Then a turn - whatever soul, flame, life

inside deciding yes, it will stay. And here come

the other colors, making their slow, defeated

way back: say what that is, that causes. He was that.

IV

To bidding not mine would he come and fill me with

himself, so full I must, against bursting, open

finally my mouth. …

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