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Thursday, June 6, 2013
I am the Baleful Head
The Baleful Head, c. 1876, Edward Coley Burne-Jones
(Click on picture to enlarge)
I am the baleful head
The above picture captures Perseus and Andromeda standing
over a well whose waters reflect back the image of Medusa. Medusa, once
renowned as a beautiful maid, invoked the wrath of the goddess Minerva who was jealous of Medusa's
beautiful tresses. The angered goddess transformed her ringlets into
vipers and she became so cruel a monster that anyone gazing upon her was turned
to stone. Edward Burne-Jones referred to her as The Baleful Head in his series of paintings depicting the legend.
I relate to the virulent Medusa, having experienced my own transformation
into a Baleful Head after months of hospital visits. My own pate is now covered with grey Medusa-like ringlets (but
I must say, after having being nearly bald, it’s a real improvement!) . I would
like to point out this bright side to the Baleful Head.
Finally, a perfect piece of music illuminating the transient nature of love, as so beautifully told in the Perseus and Andromeda myth: