29 January 2010

Skywatch Friday: Rosy Fingered Dawn and other myths of my day

Each morning, Eos rises from her Oceanic home. With rosy fingers, she opens the gates of the sky for Apollo's sun-chariot (as with this view from my front porch):

In Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, he uses repetitive phrases such as: "Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared..." to open each day of the tale. It was a mnemonic device to help the Bard stitch togehter the many parts of the long story.

And in Homer, a "mountain" is never merely that. It is a "high mountain," a "mountain precipice," or a "mountain top." Yes, they are (as with this view from behind my home):

And so each day, I tell the tale of my life by the rising sun, mountains high, and (in winter) snow so slick for skiing. How would Homer describe Butte, Montana, this little city tucked into the Northern Rockies? I don't know, but it would have to be good:

10 comments:

Lisa Wilson said...

Beautiful photos!

Richard Gibson said...

I truly love the phrase "rosy-fingered dawn." Even though it dates to Homer, my favorite use is in a science-fiction story by Robert Silverberg entitled Our Lady of the Sauropods. Wonderful how things evoke diverse reactions.

secret agent woman said...

I love rosy dawns, but it always makes me think (having grown up in a Navy family) "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning."

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous skywatch photos. I love the colors in the first shot! Wonderul shots!

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

More lovely, lovely colours!

Maria said...

Hi!
Thanks for stopping by my Sky Watch post!
I saw your post on Friday, and was blown away by the views from your house!

We had a non-stop weekend and finally finding a few minutes to myself.

I'm glad I stopped back over here again. I'd like to pass this along to my brother who teaches English. He'll love the commentary~ and the views too!

These photos are incredible enlarged!
~Maria

ps. I love the new 'thumbnail view' of the Sky Watch page!

troutbirder said...

You have the best morning views Eco. Heading west on the freeway, I see all the homes perched on the hills....

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gorgeous ER.... Liked your words to go with the photos today... YES---I'd say that WE have MOUNTAINS and YOU have HIGH MOUNTAINS (or mountain precipices)... WOW---what awesome beauty!!!!
Betsy

Janie said...

Your mountain views would fit right into Homer's work. They are legend. (Or should be.)

CountryDreaming said...

A Homeric Rendition of Butte, Montana:

The peaks of Butte, Montana, grazed narrowly by the chariots of the sun, so close to the heavens ascend that an eagle is oft mistaken for a phoenix, flying with singed wings belike to Icarus.

Dawn's rosy finger there bears a ring forged as rich as though struck by Vulcan's artistry and fiery glint.

Snowcaps march as giants to battle striding wave upon wave through realms of cloud and trees stoop out of the way like wavering blades of grass.

A mighty sky spreads its kingly ermine mantle of white and grey over the vast lands it surveys, as mountains bow almost as low as their surrounding plains.

A momentary stillness awaits a great adventure ...