“Leda and the Swan”, by WB Yeats, has inspired a poetic “retort” by a fictional character!
Pegeen Mike O’Flaherty, a character in my work-in-progress, The Death of the Author, is a famous Canadian novelist who was a feminist poet in the late 1960s, and who gives a lecture to an undergraduate class on the supposed failings of W.B. Yeats. Below you will find her poetic retort to “Leda and the Swan”, (“Leda Sings Nomans Pricksong”) published in her first collection –suitably (?) titled Penis Envy.
Click on the embedded picture below to get a much larger view:
“Leda and the Swan” is a masterful but disturbing sonnet about (among other things) the indifference of and masculine nature of history. If you are new to the poem, or to Yeats, an excellent analysis can be found at aterriblebeautyisborn.com, along with discussions of a number of his poems. The epigraph to Pegeen Mike’s response poem comes from Eli Faure’s floridly written History of Art.
Finally here is another poem “by” Pegeen Mike, also dating from the late 1960s and dedicated to her alleged paramour, Leonard Cohen!