Stephanie Pope essay, 911 A Story Retold,
myth and poetry

Mythopoetics Essay


Nine-Eleven: A Story Retold -Stephanie Pope
Look! They have all come back to speak their summary Assume their solemn places one by one.
This is
the little minute of their destiny Here is their meaning found. Here is their end- Thomas Merton

hestia red vase painting
Athenian red-figure clay vase 525-475 BC,
Characterized as the most gentle, peace-loving, and charitable of
the Olympian gods. Hestia, Goddess of hearth and home, remains
    guardian of the threshold of personal security and happiness.  

Essentially, any beginning that ends is a beginning.[1] Essie knew that. Stepping through the house would change things. Forever. And so, with the might of the all-wise alongside her, Essia, as she was called by her father, came when her father called.[2] In the name of the father she came. And of the sons. The traders, and the bankers, and all the sons of Hermes. And the other ones—the ones not successful as moneymakers.[3] In spite of the grief and the graft. Or on account of it. It didn’t matter really (to her) since he was the man most interested in the particulars of the thing and of things in particular. And since he was, when he called her to tend to the particulars of the house, she came.

The house turned out to belong to the Far-Shooter.[4] She could see at once how the house had losses walking through it without privacy in futures walking away without shoes. She understood then how too many holes and halves and haven’ts had changed things. For her. For them. For good. (?) “You’re not supposed to get involved Essia,” her father said. But always oily-haired, she was already too igne sacra inflammata, inflamed by sacred fire. Was it the father’s? Or the sons? No longer solid and assured, walled in, closed off, or swallowed up, it was not a question of her involvement but his.                                             

Suddenly, she felt herself. She spilled low and she felt herself. Between the hours of nine and eleven she spilled like a fluid sorrow collecting in a hollow space. She spilled. While most of the night she lay awake in the drip. Till suddenly she was struck by a vision of what she really was imprisoned like she was as a kernel is when lost to the blackest black in its transfiguring moment of the life still hidden within itself. She was forever what she was. She was… a little minute. The ending. And the beginning of what everyone wanted. 

[1] Those who called the essence of things “essia" would naturally sacrifice to Hestia first of all the gods (Crat. 401d).

[2]Socrates asks Hermogenes in the Cratylus what the man had in mind who gave Hestia her name (401b).

[3] Socrates tells Hermogenes he is no son of Hermes no matter what men say (383b) meaning, perhaps, that there is a problem here in “the appearances of things.”

[4] Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise (Homeric Hymn 24.5). Commentary on this line indicates that Hestia is (here invoked with Zeus) to make her home in a building the nature of which cannot be determined. One argument suggests this must be a public building and not a domicile.
(see )

Works Cited

Homeric Hymns.  Trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press: London, 1914.

Perseus Project. Ed. Gregory Crane. 25 Nov. 1997. Tufts U. 23 July 2002.

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