Innermost chaos understood at first
As Gaia’s long pent-up emotions crippling
Her sun-thrilled body, spun to the great Lyre;
Pent up, but all too soon unleashed—outburst
Savage enough to bury in its fire
The pendant charms she wore, palace and stripling,
A molten afterbirth transmuting these
Till Oedipus became Empedocles—
Leaper headlong into that primal scene
And deafening tirade. The mother tongue
At which his blood boiled, his brain kindled. Ash
Of afterthought where once the sage had been,
Louse in a log …Or else, supposing flesh
Withstood temptation, could a soul that clung
To its own fusing senses crawl as last
Away unshriveled by the holocaust?

– James Merrill. excerpt from Santorini: Stopping the Leak

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