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Mark F Hurlin

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The Fair Helen of Troy
by Mark F Hurlin
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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Love at first sight, see for yourself
a humorous poem based on first seeing a marble bust of Helen of Troy in the British Museum,

Authors note

During the year-long period when I lived in Sheperds Bush, London, cash was in short supply.
I discovered an old IBM electric typewriter in a nearby rubbish –skip and to my great joy, found that it worked perfectly.

I entered a frenzied productive phase of writing, interrupted by long walks upon Hampstead Heath and frequent visits to galleries and museums.

On one rainy afternoon, I visited the Victoria and Alfred museum.
As I ambled about I came suddenly upon a work of great beauty, a marble bust, the alleged image of Helen of Troy.

She had been the inspiration of generations of ancient greek poets who celebrated her beauty and likewise , she became my inspiration too.
She was far more beautiful than I had imagined. There and then I grabbed my notebook and pen and wrote the following lyric, seated on the gallery floor.

I fantasised about falling in love with her, and indeed if ever I meet a woman of flesh and blood whose beauty compares with Helens,I should certainly fall incurably in love with her.

Before departing the museum
I planted a juicy kiss upon her marble lips in fond farewell.

Fletcher Hurlin-Shelton  London 88


No fair lady
knows my love
no fond caress
do i enjoy

(not up till now),
Could this be love ?
for the fair Helen of Troy


Before me stands
a marble bust
with lips that seem
like fruits of joy
for a kiss of that mouth
oh how i lust
the lips of Helen of Troy


So when i am sure
no-one is about
for people
would not think it right
for me to kiss you
on the lips and pout
and make sounds
of rapt delight
they would think me
a not- normal boy
to love you
fair Helen of Troy


The sands of time
that fall between us
alas we are so far apart
it’s the age difference
well what i mean is
it really breaks my heart
to stand here quite alone
and love your image
carved in stone


It has been said
for your love
a mighty war
raged on for many years
when man’s passion is moved
it’s force is much more
than men can measure in tears
for when ‘Paris’ came and snatched you away
how ‘Menelaos’
( the loser )cried
he loved you more than words can say
and so his lips grew dry

how he must have missed you
and longed to kiss you
he was an angry jealous boy
so he raised a mighty army
and off he sailed
to declare his war on Troy


As i muse on you
and i watch you here
gazing in your stony eyes
call me strange,
or even queer
how hopelessly
i romanticise


yet nevertheless,
it is plain to see
(although with Menelaos i do sympathise
that if he came sailing o’er the sea
to claim you as his prize
i would offer him words of sympathy
for he would have to wage a war with me


No longer can we meet like this
or i will get put away
all of this incomparable bliss
must end at once, today
our love cannot be
in this century
they’ll put me in the cuckoo farm
and throw away the key



Why must it be this way ?
i know what they will say
“its an aberration of the heart”
they will put up a fight
and say it’s not right
“this is no way to love art”


Breaking up is hard to do
especially with a girl like you
although my passions are enthused
the curator would not be amused
by watching me enjoy
your lips
fair Helen of Troy


If i were turned to marble
or to stone
and set down here beside you
then never would you feel alone
for with eternal kisses i’d provide you
and all the voyeurs
passing through these foyers
would ask” who-ever is this boy ?
observe his bliss
how he doth kiss
the fair Helen of Troy



My Notes - Helen of Troy

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