"Hypnos" (Dream) 1920 oil on canvas, Gyula Benczúr (1844–1920)
we die thirsting for
©2013 stephanie pope monsters & bugs series mythopoetry.com
Around the cave of Hypnos in the underworld flows the river, Lethe―Lethe waters the forgetful of being; Lethe, a water of concealment is also a drink of unconcealment. That is what may be meant by "dying" here. Becoming "forgetful of being" as if one is as a figure in a dream, is the giving up or giving over of the images of one's concealments and not a literal dying―Thanatos (Death) & Hypnos (Dream). It is an activating of a life-making instinct in the depths and also marks the pattern of making what makes a making-life "poetic"... the role the psyche plays in dream is that of a poet shaping "shades".
This depth duo of both Thanatos & Hypnos gives to the river Lethe another hue, a hue casting a reflection a-Lethe (a "Truth" that is an "unconcealment", something reflecting in the waters a revelation of a lively truth or the truth of one's own having lived through something.) And so, one thinks of another painting, Hypnos and Thanatos and also the dynamic duality "myth" and "poetry" at play in psyche-making. Is remembering soul's poetic basis of mind the recollection of a forgotten narrative in one's soul-making journey to the underworld and back? Is the "bigger other" story being told the story of a necessary sacrifice of the woman one loves but also loses to form the woman one is and must live in living without? Is a poetry-in-itself a psyche's "poetry"? Here is one such story. You decide. Orpheus and Eurydice.