Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I've always been fascinated with the word nepenthe, which I first encountered in the poetry of Baudelaire. The magic potion, which apparently drives away care and sorrow was first mentionned by Homer in the Odyssey when the wife of the King of Egypt Thonisgave nepenthe to Helen, son of Jove (also known as Jupiter and Zeus) and Leda, who was ravaged by the god , posing as a swan.. It is an elegant and poetic word coming from ne, not and penthos , grief or sorrow. Someone should market it, sure they'd make a killing.
I was just thinking of this word on the metro home from a night's work, looking at the people going to and from their lives, not a joyous face in sight, from the girl seated next to me who was twenty and had the demeanor and bearing of a tired woman of twice her age, the Chinese kid from the 'burbs with the bleached blond mop echoeing a Japanese kid from Harajuku, head bobbing to the hip-hop he was droning out to, the woman who resembled something between a witch and a teacher, with her prematurely greyed hair, and long drawn out face, and the woman seated across from me, who couldn't help but stare at me for some reason, finding me surely strange for some reason, me tired after this night shift, waiting to get home, and do what..stay up and think, write, maybe hit the bike, maybe not, read, listen to music in front of this screen..Tell me if I'm boring you