Thursday, 18 July 2013

Diana Moore: Pan and his Pipes

Name of poet:                DIANA MOORE                           date sent in:  3rd June 2013

Title of poem:   PAN AND HIS PIPES

Name of object in the museum:   PAN LISTENING TO ECHO

Number and name of Gallery in the museum:   WESTERN ART, GALLERY 43

Pan and his pipes.  Pan and his pipes . Pipes, pipes, pipes.
Pan and his pipes.  Pan and his pipes.  Pipes, pipes, pipes.
He’s stopped and he’s stopped in his tracks.  Tracks.
What is it in the air that he lacks?   Lacks, lacks.

I have waited in the meadow with the flowers.  Hours
Sweet are the daisy and cowslip.  Slip
Here in the meadow, alone by and by
I sigh.  Sigh.

Where are you Echo my love?   I Love.
You are my only love. Am I your only one?  Only one.
Here am I for you always, to no other will I go.  Go.
Is that you singing in the leaves, don’t leave me.  Leave me.
Alone, I don’t want to be alone.  Alone.

What say you plants…?
Come Crested dogs-tail.  I ail.
Do you feel low, as I do, Musk mallow?
Are you ill for love, Tormentil?

Here among the Meadow Brome.  I roam
I roam and seek your presence.  Essence.
I have waited in the meadowsweet meadow.  Oh!
Echo, come take my hand.  And
I will wait for you here in the meadow. Oh! Woe!

©Diana Moore

Diana writes and performs for both children and adults.  Her poetry workshops are fun and interactive.  For further information, or to book an event, please contact Diana via her website or on mobile:  07789 302995.

Information sourced from the Ashmolean research team.
Pan Listening to Echo
(active Veneto 1532 – 45)
Padua or Venice, 1520 - 30

Long regarded as one of the most poetic small bronzes of the Italian Renaissance, the so-called Pan listening to Echo was the first bronze that Fortnum ever acquired. 

The classical god of the woods and fields is here shown in near-human form, with only his small horns, sharp pointed ears and tuft of tail betraying his true nature.   More commonly depicted in art as a satyr-like figure driven by his animal instincts, Pan is depicted in quite a different light in the story of his vain love for the nymph Echo, which appears in Greek pastoral poetry.  Around the beginning of the sixteenth century, the story enjoyed renewed popularity because of the enormous success of the poem Pan and Echo by the great poet Poliziano, first published in 1494.  These haunting verses, in which the echo responds to the lover’s lament, are a perfect gloss on the bronze and may well have directly inspired it.

Che fai tu Echo mentre chio ti chiamo? Amo.
Ami tu duo/ o pur un solo? un solo.
E io te sol e non altri amo: altri amo
Dunque non ami tu un solo? Un solo
Questo è un dirmi inon tamo: inon tamo
Quel che tu ami: amil tu solo? Solo
Chi tha levato dal mio Amore? Amore
Chef a quello achi porti Amore? Ah more.

Note:  The above is an extract from a longer (two-page) article.

Inspiration for the piece ~ a note from Diana Moore

I was taken with gentleness of Pan in this bronze, as well as the title Pan Listening to Echo.  I was curious as to why he is depicted in this almost human form (he has toes, while the satyr-like Pan god has cloven hooves).  I like the detail and quality (you need to see his back for the muscle detail).  I could see scope to write a musical piece, however, for this occasion, I have experimented with an echo poem.  I met with a native Italian to get a translation of the old poem (above) and this gave me a starting point for my own work.

Greek Mythology
There are a number of stories of Echo in Greek mythology.  Firstly, Echo had her power of speech taken away by Zeus’s wife, Hera  (see the tale of Echo and Hera);  secondly,  Echo fell in love with Narcissus, but Narcissus was only in love with himself.  Thirdly, Pan fell in love with Echo but Echo did not love him back and that is the angle I have chosen to write about, Pan’s vain love for Echo.

There is a more harrowing tale of Pan and Echo in which she is torn to shreds for rejecting Pan, and there is yet another story that suggests Pan and Echo were married and had two children…!

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