“Metamorphoses” – Ovid, 102


   To Be Titled (1987) –


          Jean-Michel Basquiat




next, according to Ovid, inspired, presumably,  

by the Gods, is what happens before the world 

is created


        Before the seas, and this terrestrial ball, 


which is to say, the earth


        And Heav’n’s high canopy, that covers all,

        One was the face of Nature; if a face:


the “face of Nature” was “One”, an 

indistinguishable, perhaps not even, “face”


        Rather a rude and indigested mass:

        A lifeless lump, unfashion’d, and unfram’d,

        Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam’d.


this undifferentiated agglomeration, this “lifeless 

lump” was called Chaos


note the “seeds”, however, potential, though 

“jarring”, or conflicting, the genesis for what 

is to follow   


           No sun was lighted up, the world to view;

           No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:


the horns of the moon are visible when the 

crescent moon lies flat on the horizon, in 

the shape of a smile, presenting “horns”, 

the twin elevated extensions


           Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,

           Nor pois’d, did on her own foundations lye:


or lie


           Nor seas about the shores their arms had thrown;

           But earth, and air, and water, were in one.


see again Chaos here


           Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,

           And water’s dark abyss unnavigable.

           No certain form on any was imprest;

           All were confus’d, and each disturb’d the rest.

           For hot and cold were in one body fixt;

           And soft with hard, and light with heavy mixt.



next, the first metamorphosis


stay tuned


R ! chard