Oyster Boy Review 17  
  Fall 2003
» Cover

» Feature
» Art
» Poetry
» Essays
» Reviews
» Contributors

» Oyster Boy Review
» Levee 67


Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Helen of Troy

Kevin Bezner

No war was ever fought for this ghostly demon,
Skin of a cadaver, lips and eyes of a boy.
Not even the wavy golden hair
Would have convinced Paris
That this was the woman Aphrodite promised.
If his eyes had painted a true Helen,
Agamemnon might have spared Iphigenia,
And so spared himself a death
At the hands of grieving Clytemnestra.
Here, Rossetti is more slanderer than Stesichorus.
But perhaps he paid for his bold lie,
And with each stroke of his brush became more blind.