Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan, a 16th century copy after a lost painting by Michelangelo, 1530 (National Gallery, London)

Cesare Sesto
Leda and the Swan

I am working on an altered art doll of Leda and the Swan. She is a bit strange but I am having fun with her.
Leda and the Swan is a motif from Greek mythology, in which Zeus came to Leda in the form of a swan.

"Leda and the Swan" is a poem by William Butler Yeats first published in 1928 (below). Combining psychological realism with a mystic vision, it describes the swan's raping of Leda.

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[20]
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?

1 comment:

  1. Leda and the swan, great myth. My art can be seen at:


Related Posts with Thumbnails