Saturday, September 9, 2006

Hair

We live in a world in which men can buy a Philips Norelco Men's Bodygroom to meet their "unique grooming needs." "[T]rim and shave all body zones - not for use above the neck," the ad copy says. Yikes. Here's a defender of hirsuteness:

Plenty of hair gets in my eyes and shadows
My shoulders like a grove. Don't think it ugly
If my whole body is covered thick with bristles:
A tree is ugly without its leaves, a horse
Ugly without a mane, and birds have feathers
And sheep have wool, so beards and hair on the chest
Are the sign of a man.
Of course, he goes on to say
                                    In the middle of my forehead
I have one eye, so what? Does not the Sun
See all things here on earth from his high Heaven?
And the great Sun has only one eye.
Yes, it's the Cyclops Polyphemus speaking, in Ovid's Metamorphoses 13 (translated by Rolfe Humphries, 1955).

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