About Banks of Lethe

A Journey of Un-Remembrance

And I, stepping from this skin
Of old bandages, boredoms, old faces
Step up to you from the black car of Lethe,
Pure as a baby. ~ Sylvia Plath

The River of Lethes one of the rivers of Hades reputed in Classical Greek folklore to cause forgetfulness in those that drank from its banks on their way to reincarnation, an oblivion required so they would not remember their past lives. To be dead (for the Greeks) was to be out of time, to be outside of time. The dead exist in Hades on the Plains of Asphodel but are not in living time, they are in transit, waiting to return to time, to re-enter the “realm of change” (from Margaret Atwood’s “Negotiating With The Dead – A Writer on Writing”).

The Banks of Lethe

Drink from the river and I’ll show
you what you never knew
deny you what once was
reveal to you what never will be.

Drink from the river bank
the Banks of Lethe
and dissolve in its wake.

Be seduced by the blur of seduction
The comfort of the veil draped
by those crossing Mnemosyne
where the hunters stand
crimson’d in their concealment

Let me un-give to you
a gift of guidance
of the un-remembrance of things past
of colour in my eye
the red and the blue
and my light
my breath

Image Details: Books, one handmade, one mass-produced, dimensions variable