03 February 2009

Canto XVII

This one begins with "So that", as Canto I ended, so we are back in that Homeric strand. It's clear in this that Zagreus is the principal figure, so I have looked him up, and he's basically Dionysus or Bacchus. There's also a reference to "the goddess of the fair knees", which is funnier than it ought to be.

It's another coastal scene, "the water green clear, and blue clear". The landscape is populated with gods and nymphs, like some renaissance paintings.

And that's about all I can safely say. I think I've read that the references to "marble trunks" and "stone trees" refer to the founding of Venice, but I wouldn't have guessed that. Possibly that's because (i) not having been to Venice, I don't recognise it and (ii) the mythological references don't work for me. Kore turns up again (as in III), so I'm beginning to think she must have some link with Venice. Like VII, this is a canto that might mean something later. So let's move on. Nothing to see here.

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