III. Cape Sounion – Approaching Poseidon

"Andrea Doria as Neptune," Angelo Bronzino, circa 1540 - 1550, Wikipedia photo.
“Andrea Doria as Neptune,” Angelo Bronzino, circa 1540 – 1550, Wikipedia photo.

On that harkening morn, the pilgrims’ ship
Sailed round Sounion cliffs, beaming in rising
Rose-fired sun, emerged the Sea Lord’s
Columned dwelling, source of wisdom and
Strength for faithful followers, who in self-
Denial and fasting dedication, worshippers of
Bountiful seas, praises of dance and song.

To approach Poseidon’s oracle, three days of
Prayerful fasting were required, to tread upon
His sacred marbled halls, commanding view
Above Ægean Seas, catapulting waves, tempests
Howling, earth in thunder-quaking submission,
The sea god would admit a worthy few, those
Giving themselves completely to his holy word.

Serving as intermediary between mortal and
The gods, Althea approached Poseidon directly,
Too much as an equal, though the Sea Lord
Listened in deference to Athena, the divine
Matriarch, protection he provided to gallant-
Fighting sailor-soldiers on her triremes, fast
And agile upon his welling silvered seas.

At feet of Poseidon’s statue, Althea knelt, her
Forehead touching veins of marbled naos floor,
Lessons gleaned from failings of Agamemnon,
Arrogant and too proud. “My Sea Lord, we
Approach you in dutiful reverence and servitude,
Please honor us with your presence today,” she
Appealed, clear voice of Athena’s demigoddess.

“I have followed you from Naxos,” Poseidon’s
Thoughts stated within Althea’s mind, “and have
Peered within hearts of all making pilgrimage
To my holy temple. Besides you, Althea, only one
Other may approach me directly, Thyonē, learnéd
Ocean spirit, who thinks and feels, to reveal her
Fate, sea’s secret speech, guiding gales divine.”

“I must go beyond the dark world of sense information to the
clear brilliance of the sunlight of the outside world.” ― Plato

This concludes Part 3 of 4. The next section is
“IV. Thyonē – Transfiguration Flesh and Bronze.”

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