22 10 2009

Akhilles & Briseis

How much is a woman equal to? Take Briseis,

given to Akhilles as booty: is she worth four oxen?

Six? Her father’s allied to the Trojans, which might reduce


her value. But the thighs are fleshy, breasts soft, skin

spread like a banquet. When Agamemnon sees her bending

over the laundry, he waits until she rises, arms slick


and wet, with a stain of water on her clothes. Oh! Yes,

he got the short end of the stick with the priest’s daughter

who’ll have to be sent home. He’ll have this girl instead.




Briseis, taken from the hut, looks back at Akhilles sitting

on the sand. She wavers in his vision, like something

turned to air or mist. She could disappear now,


from the tale and the hero’s view. But she continues, braiding

her hair with tears; the king will return her (briefly)

just before Akhilles goes to battle, dies. A woman is equal to



the weight of her grief.

*AUTHOR: Anne Simpson

POSTED BY: Charles Ryder on Le Blogué.

Un poema un poco diferente de los anteiores, aunque al igual que + es algo gráfico, y sumamente descriptivo. ¿A qué es igual una mujer en tiempos de guerra? Y más, una esclava como Briseida, que era codiciada por Agamenón, a pesar de pertenecer al poderosos Aquiles. Su tenencia causó una gran disputa entre estos dos hombres, y en definitiva, tuvo que ver con la guerra de Troya y sus movimientos. Simplemente otro grande de los ya casi terminados, Usual Devices de Anne Simpson.