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The Rhyme Maker
Witter Bynner
Witter Bynner

Theme:  Love and Romance (the dark side)

A bacchanalian is a term used to denote a follower of Bacchus, in the “real world” as well as in myth and legend.  The female followers of Bacchus, also known as Maenads (the "raving ones"), were both seductive and dangerous, known to acts of extreme violence in the midst of bacchanalian celebration (a wine party).  These women were often found running through the deep woods in a frenzy from “Bacchus' blessing” (wine) and would devour any woodland creature that happened into their path (a severe case of the “munchies”).  They were also known to kill a human or two who upset them or their favorite god.  They now frequent the honky-tonks of rural South, where I live.

Also see Richard Aldington's Bromios for a peek inside a "day in the life" of the god of wine.
- S. H. Bass  

more Witter Bynner at
I Drink
I Find
The Hypocrite

The Mystic

click to enlarge

"Bakst Narcisse Bacchante"
Leon Bakst (1866-1924)
The Vintage Wine Poems Art Gallery
Witter Bynner (1881-1968), American poet

Fling back your heads, women, heavy with grape clusters!
Toss your mad torches ! Illumine the lusters
Like sunny-shot flecks on a black, black sea
Afloat in her eyes, bewildering me.

The Earth is a jewel; he hangs 'mid the hair,
He gleams 'mid the teeth of my Paradise there,
Who tilts back a face that was born to beguile;
And his nights are her tresses, his days are her

And her bosom is Time. And the Future her face.
And her fingers are Fate. And her being is Space.
And her breath is All-Sound; wherefore I am
To lose her were Death; it is nearing!

Bacchus, thou callest; thy wine putteth wings
On their purple-wet feet; and it sings,
As it bleeds from their overflung  jars,
A song to her eyes, which have drunk of the stars.

Thou hast captured my feet unawares,
Till lustful I struggle to burst from thy snares,
And seize her, the Body and Soul of thy band
But the flight of her garment is hot in my hand.

Let thy joy, Bacchus, leap like the joy of a sea:
Those eyes are thy mistress, returned to thee.
Lift up the wild bowl ! She is lost ! I am dead !
Space and Time, Fate and Future, are fled.

from An Ode to Harvard, and other poems (1907)

Witter Bynner at Amazon

The Selected Witter Bynner: Poems, Plays, Translations, Prose, and Letters by Witter Bynner  (Author), James Kraft (Author, Editor)


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