Paris and Helen

By Judy Grahn Judy Grahn
He called her:  golden dawn
She called him:  the wind whistles

He called her:  heart of the sky
She called him:  message bringer

He called her:  mother of pearl
           barley woman, rice provider,
           millet basket, corn maid,
           flax princess, all-maker, weef

She called him:  fawn, roebuck,
           stag, courage, thunderman,
           all-in-green, mountain strider
           keeper of forests, my-love-rides

He called her:  the tree is
She called him:  bird dancing

He called her:  who stands,
           has stood, will always stand
She called him:  arriver

He called her:  the heart and the womb
           are similar
She called him:  arrow in my heart.

Judy Grahn, “Paris and Helen” from love belongs to those who do the feeling: New & Selected Poems (1966-2006). Copyright © 2008 by Judy Grahn. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: love belongs to those who do the feeling: New & Selected Poems (1966-2006). (Red Hen Press, 2008)

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Poet Judy Grahn


Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism, Romantic Love, Desire, Greek & Roman Mythology

 Judy  Grahn


Poet, activist, and scholar Judy Grahn was born in Chicago and grew up in New Mexico. She joined the Air Force but was discharged at 21 for being openly gay. A central member of the west coast feminist poetry movement of the 1970s, Grahn received a PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies. In a 2009 essay for the Boston Review on the poetry of the women’s movement, poet Honor Moore spoke of hearing Grahn read her . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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