Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Brilliant poet Sharon Mesmer asked me a question recently, and I know she speaks for many of you 9 billion Peeps, when she asked:
SM: I keep wanting to ask you this (and it's something I should know!): what is Galatea's Mountain??!!

Moi: I molt, I mean, I live on a mountain. I named the place Galatea after the Greek myth Pygmalion and Galatea (made into movie "My Fair Lady") where sculptor Pygmalion sculpted an ivory statue of a lady so beautiful he fell in love with her. So he prayed to the gods to make her alive. The gods indeed turned the statue into a human. But the myth ends (I think) with the woman stepping off the pedestal with no info on whatever happened after she stepped down from the pedestal. So I "continued" the myth by positing that Galatea, as a human lady, became interested in nature, art, poetry and wine (stuff in which the household is interested). Interestingly, the house is named "Pygmalion" because the house now doesn't move (it's the "statue" today). Reason is that Pygmalion was a misogynist and one can assume that once the statue became human, he became disappointed too in Galatea's inevitable human failings. So I "froze" Pygmalion into a statue (house) where he is frozen forever in his love for Galatea (albeit the image of rather than human reality of Galatea) that on the mountain he is *fixed* as an embodiment of love rather than misogynism.

I believe I concocted all that when I was into moi wine cups...

SM: Well, goddess bless ton wine cups! I love your application of myth to life. I knew about the Galatea/"My Fair Lady" connection, but not the rest, and your re-framing of it, which is really brilliant. I teach a class at the New School called "The Muse Singing: Myth in Poetry From Antiquity to Today" and I am always wondering why contemporary (and peer) poets have seemingly abandoned myth. It's like they're embarrassed by it or something.

Interesting, ain't it? To quote RL (Hi to you, too!), and that's THE END.

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