LEDA AND THE SWAN—YEATS. It’s tempting to see the poems about Leda by Yeats and Gogarty as being the result of a competition between the poets. Some research on Google shows that the men were good friends and had conversations about the legend of Leda and the swan before the poems were written.

Here is the poem by Yeats:


Leda and the Swan
by W. B. Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

This entry was posted in Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.