Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bull-Dancers



Modern Olympics
owes little to Delphi.
Where is pankration
or charioteers?

One game we have from
sources far older:
pommel-horse vaulting
comes to us from Crete.

In frescoes at Knossos
lithe figures turn handsprings
over the sweat-streaming
flanks of the bull

tossed into somersaults
head-down and one-handed
poised, hanging high in
the grip of a god.

image courtesy of Wikimedia

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

3 comments:

Tumblewords: said...

'hung high in the grip of a god', love that phrase and the way you took sports back to the earliest of times.

Menduir said...

Interesting. I never made that connection between the bull jumpers and the gymnastics vaulters.

(Also, I don't follow gymnastics but is the vault just a women's event or do men do it too?)

Nice imagery.

~ Jas.

Beth said...

Absolutely beautiful. I've stood in awe in front of this fading frescoe. You capture the energy and immediacy beautifully, especially in the last two stanzas. Very nice.