Fulvio De Marinis
Siren's Last Song
Oil and gold on canvas, 40x70 cm.
This is a link to the Napoli Underound website where you
will find a gallery of other works by the same artist.
Siren's Last Song
”I know not how long I've sat upon this lonely rock,
nor whether I was born here or abandoned.
A dark and silent sea surrounds me.
Around me white bones glisten in an eternal noon.
Nothing stirs on the bleak shore.
Shipwrecks and sailors' corpses rot.
The breezes play upon my lyre*
and create new song,
that I might feel the presence of another,
and know my song is not alone.
I claim to know the past, the present
and the future, but I lie.
Day by day the mounds of bones grow
and I feel content.
Is the hunter's worth not measured
by the kill?
I raise my song
to that white sail on the horizon,
and Zephyros carries my honeyed voice
to those unsuspecting ears.
The ship is deftly brought to shore.
It's doubt that drives them to safe beaches,
or so they think.
Fools! You won't feel the stomach cramps,
your swollen tongues will not crave liquid.
You will slowly feed upon yourselves,
forget your wives, your children, and life itself.
Yet I seek to flee this island
where only my obsessions dwell...
perhaps in that black ship now approaching.
What's this? It sails by!
Does my voice no longer charm?
That cannot be!
Did I not tame even crude Centaurs with my song?
Who are you who confounds and torments me
and makes me like the monstrous beast whose icy screams*
call my shining queen up from the deep?
Now I know these stones no longer heed me...”
And so she stared for the last time into the empty distance and threw herself down from the rock to go adrift. They say that the waves of the sea carried the soaked plumes to a harsh land of sun. There someone built a tomb, but no one remembers where.
- Selene Salvi