Assumption of Ganymede

Today, January 22nd, is a day associated with the Assumption of Ganymede by some traditions. Ganymede was a beautiful Trojan prince whom Zeus became enamored of and took (in eagle form) to Olympus where he became the divine cupbearer. It should be noted that in ancient societies the role  of cupbearer was an important one, whether male or female; this fact is often forgotten in our modern society, which generally considers service as lowly. Besides the homoerotic element, another interesting aspect of this myth is that of Zeus in the form of an eagle. I frequently have seen it stated that Greek gods are always in human form, but that is not always true. Dionysos with his horns, and of course Pan immediately spring to mind as well.

A poem I have written for Ganymede follows.

For Ganymede

A terrible beauty—

(More than mortals bear)

A rupture in the mundane.

A disturbing rapture,

A chasm through which whirls

The tempest of eagle talons.

A ripple in the storm: a brief

Sojourn on earth, then flight and

An eternity of service on Olympus.

Ganymede Abducted by the Eagle, Correggio. 1531.

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