Monday, November 9, 2015

PSYCHE & NATURE: A Story Of Insight

Hyperion was the great pillar of the East & as a Titan son of Heaven, may have been seen as a primal god, the first to order the cycles of sun, moon and dawn & thus, regulate rhythm of dawns, days & dusks. Likewise his brother Krios, presided over the ordering of the heavenly constellations and so in a complimentary manner ordered the year and the cycle of seasons. He and his brothers seem to have been viewed as the ancient gods responsible for the creation of man, each bestowing an individual quality to a man. Hyperion, meaning "he who watches from above", was clearly associated with watching and observation, just as his wife, Theia, was the goddess of sight (thea), and so theirs was surely the gift of eyes & sight. The Greeks believed the eyes emit a ray of light allowing one to see in such a way as both sun & moon together allow. Hence sun and moon alight, a gift of insight.

there are nowadays no bombs bursting no
secrets market, only the last light
saged and smudged in greying wind
an angel shadow long and lingering

and how no rain whispers
and how out of the absence
leaps the promise
and how out of the promise
leaps the animal
and the animal hides
in its bleached bone whisper
the pinned halluc-noosed bumps
of crucified skin

when the phantom sun-dances the dust and
as if cold, shivers in rusty beads, light bleeds
every silver life is precious here
and life lives on life so the precious ones
slither and slur closer to the ground
are quick to hide and press and shade
their water secrets low
geckos ghost in paths where
their water-echoes streak flecks
quick as javelins in silver thunder

 …if only it would rain

but only if it doesn’t will a gecko
hold the water secret close
to its cracking life and teach
me how to be filled-in with absence
teach me this weight of space,
where daylight and rabbit leap long
and last, last and on into night


preys on moons and winds
but what it fears, is fluid

and what it fears, it wants
and what it wants rises from
its lower mind where such silver 
mined too low ensnares and
something larger and darker
and kept more deeply secret 
and something not quite living

are deadly sins
sometimes clouded

and the not quite real spooks
the green life suddenly to bolt

(and you may know)
where such things puff
and screech and howl the dust

a dust, a rough, arid dust
kicks up


no one knows how long
such surfaces have lived this way
red and low in a world on fire

how too much life is silence
and too much silence
rises from the dead
gathering the far away
stitching it close together

too much is a thin air unbearably light
and I am bound to dust and stars
in a lust larger than that in men for water

so I reach down and in to death
as if its angel comes to me at last
as if it were the life in the bone
I’ve sounded all along…

but instead, this solar creature
wails through the column of smoke
and, as if blown by the sun itself,
sucks into itself  the sand around me
the desert inflames and is drawn
like a column of bloody bits
through a red hose

what calls itself into form
sucks upon life
what sucks upon life
draws itself into fire
that life is a fire

and this is true my child,
so feed upon that fire
know that when it stands before you
like an evil
and teaches you how to hold its smoke
and teaches you how to blow
the red earth into form
and the red form into funnel
you must be wise;
quench it

some part of me could run like gecko
were I not so pinned in conservation
to bits of moisture left upon this breath

it blew Hyperion into living here
and now
something more ancient
than the one who walks
above these shaded hills
lives red in promise

gathers in the far away this promise
as old as freedom

©2015 Hands of Chaos stephaniepope


Classical Sources:

Hesiod, Theogony 371 ff : "And Theia was subject in love to Hyperion and bare great Helios (Sun) and clear Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn)."

Homeric Hymn 31 to Helius (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :"Helios whom mild-eyed Euryphaessa, the far-shining one (phaithonta), bare to the Son of Gaia (Earth) and starry Ouranos (Heaven). For Hyperion wedded glorious Euryphaessa, his own sister, who bare him lovely children, rosy-armed Eos (Dawn) and rich-tressed Selene (Moon) and tireless Helios (Sun)."

Aeschylus, Prometheus Unbound (lost play) :
In Aeschylus' lost play Prometheus Unbound the chorus consisted of the Titan sons of Ouranos--Krios, Koios, Iapetos and Hyperion (and perhaps also Kronos)--released by Zeus from Tartaros. It is not known if the brothers were named in the play or individualised in any way.

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :"From Aether and Terra [were born various abstractions] . . .[From Caelum (Ouranos) and Terra (Gaia) were born ?] Oceanus, Themis, Tartarus, Pontus; the Titanes : Briareus, Gyes, Steropes, Atlas, Hyperion, and Polus [Koios], Saturnus [Kronos], Ops [Rhea], Moneta [Mnemosyne], Dione." [N.B. Hyginus' Preface survives only in summary. The Titanes should be listed as children of Ouranos (Caelum) and Gaia (Terra) not Aither and Gaia, but the notation to this effect seems to have been lost in the transcription.]"Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface :"From Hyperion & Aethra [were born]: Sol [Helios], Luna [Selene], Aurora [Eos].

see also Hesiod , Theogony 133 & 207 (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th

mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Ouranos (Sky) . . . fathered other sons on Ge (Earth), namely the Titanes : Okeanos, Koios, Hyperion, Kreios, Iapetos, and Kronos the youngest; also daughters called Titanides : Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe, Dione, and Theia . . . Now Ge (Earth), distressed by the loss of her children into Tartaros [the Kyklopes and Hekatonkheires], persuaded the Titanes [Koios, Hyperion, Kreios, Iapetos and Kronos] to attack their father, and she gave Kronos a sickle made of adamant. So all of them except Okeanos set upon Ouranos (Heaven), and Kronos cut off his genitals, tossing them into the sea . . . Thus having overthrown Ouranos’ rule the Titanes retrieved their brothers from Tartaros and gave the power to Kronos.""

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 66. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :"The Titanes numbered six men and five women, being born, as certain writers of myths relate, of Ouranos (Heaven) and Ge (Earth), but according to others, of one of the Kouretes and Titaia, from whom as their mother they derive the name they have. The males were Kronos, Hyperion, Koios, Iapetos, Krios and Okeanos, and their sisters were Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe and Tethys. [N.B. He omits Theia.] Each one of them was the discover of things of benefit to mankind, and because of the benefaction they conferred upon men they were accorded honours and everlasting fame.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 67. 1 : "Of Hyperion we are told that he was the first to understand, by diligent attention and observation, the movement of both the sun and the moon and the other stars, and the seasons as well, in that they are caused by these bodies, & to make these facts known to others; & that for this reason he was called the father of these bodies, since he had begotten, so to speak, the speculation about them & their nature."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 - 9 :
"The Titanes had children . . . Hyperion and Theia had Eos (Dawn) , Helios (Sun), and Selene (Moon).