In the name of Helen of Troy, I and my muse now dwell in Robinson Jeffers Tower. Our spirits will dwell here forever. I highly suggest Rena Victoria Easton be moved to this tower where she can sit by the first reciting Jeffer’s poems she has committed to memory. Robinson wants us here. He predicted our arrival in his poems about Helen. Here is the end of the trail that began in my blog ‘Helen of High Noon’. My blog is the model, the source, of an Epic Poem, that begins at a picnic table in a park. My daughter’s mother and I are discussing Jack London’s Wolf House that lie in ruin after a fire. I compare this to saving the Rosamond Family Legacy.
Above is a illustration of Rosamond’s Tower, and the tower built by Joaquin Miller in memory of the poet, Robert Browning. That is a knight as a falcon flying into the tower where his love is captured. ‘Capturing Beauty’ is the title of the auto-biography about my late sister, Christine Rosamond, and I.
Helen means “shining light” or “torch”. She was worshipped on the Island of Rhodes, and is associated with the sun. I believe the first Colossus of Rhodes, was Helen. I suggest a statue of Helen holding a torch be built at Tor House. Rhodes rose out of the sea.
‘The Beautiful Light and Rose of the World’
King Henry kept Fair Rosamond in a tower and the center of a labyrinth, a Troy-town. Henry claimed he descended from the kings of Troy.
The Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a nonprofit organization of volunteer members established in 1978 to acquire, maintain and provide for public access to Tor House, Hawk Tower and the surrounding gardens.
The Foundation sponsors events and publishes material designed to preserve and extend the cultural and literary legacy of Robinson Jeffers, poet of California.
- To preserve Tor House, Hawk Tower and their collections
- To promote the literary and philosophical legacy of Robinson Jeffers for the enrichment and enlightenment of the public
- To serve the community as a cultural resource
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 1998
(The story of Achilles rising from the dead for love of Helen
is well enough known. That of Polyxo’s vengeance may be less
familiar; it can be found in Pausanias’ “Description of Greece,”
explaining the Rhodian worship of Helen as Dendritis, the treegoddess.)
The scene is the fore-court of a noble dwelling on the island of
Rhodes. Portico of the house, with steps of heavy stone and
painted wooden columns, but all worn and old. Black pine-forest
on the hill behind. One great pine stands to the left of the steps,
near the house-wall; it is old, with contorted boughs, one of
which overhangs the steps. The time is nearly twenty years after
the fall of Troy.
Enter a shepherd and his little son, the shepherd leading a reluctant
lamb by a noosed thong. They come from the right
foreground, and go toward the left.
THE SHEPHERD The gods get hungry like you and me, so it has to die.
THE BOY But you called her mine; you promised that I might
rear her. Oh father.
HELEN Will you plot against me
before my face? And vainly. I can pity delusion
Even in dead men; whatever it is you would sell, she will not
buy. My friend has grown cold, but not
Wicked; not monstrous; one can see that without looking
through hollow death. … As to Achilles,
I will tell you, Polyxo. He went away from Therapnae in the
stormy dawn, gathering his men,
Only detaching these few to guard me. He returned to the
ships; and one had been burned, he took one of ours;
And sailed away to fetch west for the island Leuke, that white
Atlantic splendor in the waves, to find there
The peace, he said, that even the most beautiful woman never
can give. For there one is free of death’s
Dreams as of life’s. He will never return. I tell you because I
When glory gathered on Troy, the picketed horses
Neighed in the morning, and long live ships
Ran on the wave like eagle-shadows on the slopes of mountains.
Then men were equal to things, the earth was beautiful, the
crests of heroes
Waved as tall as the trees.
Now all is decayed, all corrupted, all gone down.
Men move like mice under the shadows of trees,
And the shadows of the tall dead.
The brightness of fire is dulled,
The heroes are gone.
In naked shame Agamemnon
Died of a woman.
The sun is crusted and the moon tarnished,
And Achilles has chosen peace.
Tell me, you island spearmen, you plowboy warriors,
Has anyone cried out in the dark door?
Yesterday I discovered Virginia Hambley is related to Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force who authored the fairy tale Persinette that the Grimm brothers turned into the story, Repunzel. Add to this the Grail and Knight Romances of Geoffrey de La Tour-Landry, and his relation to Rene de Anjou, and we are looking at one of the most literary Family Trees, not only of France, but of human history!
Charlotte-Rose could be the inventor of what she titles “histoires secrètes”, that has spawned a genre that launched a thousand books and several television shows. Add to this the Legend of Sleeping Beauty whom the Grimm bothers named, Rosamond – along with the countless literary works surrounding Fair Rosamond – then alas we behold the Heart and Rose of Western Culture, safe and secure in the Ivory Tower…….
“Repunzel, let down your hair!”
16. Olivier Emmanuel Auguste Louis Ghislain Nompar de Caumont, 11.Duc de La Force * Parijs 12-4-1839 + Parijs 22-1-1909
x Parijs 22-5-1876
17. Anne Blanche Elisabeth Jeanne de Maillé de La Tour-Landry * Parijs 8-5-1854 + 15-9-1909
Before I take you on a tour of the Towers of Beauty, let me honor two women, my surrogate mother, Wanda Paine Harkins, and Virginia Hambley, the later whom I wanted children with, but, to my dismay her mother insisted my lover get her tubes tied due to her head injury. Wanda had three sons, none who sired children. She is kin to the Patriot, Thomas Paine. Her son, Michael Harkins, was good friends of the Stackpole family.
Ralph Stackpole, gathered together a group of student-artists at the California College of Arts and Crafts to render the murals in Coit Tower. Add to this group, the muralist Garth and Thomas Hart Benton, Jiryl Zorthian, and Diego Rivera, and we have the Ivory Tower of the Muralist. Let us not leave out the story of the infamous recluse, Thomas Pynchon, who was married to my ex-wife, the artist, Mary Ann Tharaldsen, who did a portrait of her friend, Mimi Baez, who I consider one of the most beautiful woman who ever walked the earth.
Peter Stackpole was a photographer for LIFE magazine, and did a shoot of my kindred, Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Peter took the photo of Princess Grace, whose two twin grandchildren, were christened two days ago. Prince Albert if the Comte of Ferrette and Rosemont, a source from which my Rosamond kindred possibly hail. and where lived the most famous female heir of all time, Jeanne de Ferrette-Rougemont, who is the Queen Mother of all the Habsburgs. She is in the Tower on Red Mountain, waiting for her Knight to come, and bid her to let down the long scroll that recite her Family Tree that look over an Eternal Sunset, as far as the eye can see. Behold! Is that the Golden Grail and Gate of our Royal Humanity. Look here, the Tower of Eight Beauties at Arginy!
The alchemists have fashioned the Golden Rose out of our Greatest Secrets and most Mysterious History. Rejoice the Ship of Muralist setting out for the Great Commission, sailing thru the Golden Gate. And in the Hights of Oakland stand Joaquin Miller with a spy glass, allowing all the Bohemians to take a peek at their Destiny! Look! There is John and his sister Christine! Hanzel and Gretal making their way to visit the Old Crone, and gaze into the deep shadow of her Sun Dial, the Compass of Time. Could that be the reincarnated hand of Leonardo Da Vinci on the tiller steering us towards the Rose of the World Prophecy!
“Beauty is everywhere! Rejoice! Rejoice! We have no choice!”
Above is an illustration from ‘Eliduc and Guilliadun’ by Marie of France. ‘Guildeluec Reviving Guilliadun’, may be the inspiration of Grimm’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ who he named Rosamond. This led me to suspect that Marie of France is Joan Clifford, who was the paramour of King Henry de Anjou, Fair Rosamond.
For the last two days I have been searching the web for any connection between Marie of France, Fair Rosamond, and sleeping Beauty. In ‘Eliduc and Guilliadun’ there is a sleeping maiden who is revived by a red flower retrieved from the mouth of a weasel who found it in a deep forest. This is a resurrection from a death-like sleep, a coma, via a red flower that represents the blood of Christ.
In Marie’s ‘The Lay Of Yonec’ there is a beauty captured in a tower visited by a prince who changes into a hawk. The jealous husband puts barbs of steel around the window, that like the thorns of a rose, mortally wound the hawk-prince. Beauty follows the drops of her lovers red blood into a maze, a bower, replicating the legend of Fair Rosamond who was found in a labyrinth by a jealous queen via a red thread. Marie was a Arthurian Author who was influenced by Wace whose Roman de Rou is a Grail Legend.
Above we see Marie and Wace presenting their Grail Manuscripts to King Henry de Anjou.
“Suddenly it ran out of the chapel into the forest grass. There it picked a deep red flower with its teeth, then carried it quickly back and placed it in the mouth of the weasel the servant had killed. Instantly the animal came back to life. The wife had watched all this, and how she cried out to the servant.
“Catch it! Throw, boy! Don’t let it escape!”
He hurled his stick and hit the weasel. The blossom fell from between its teeth. Eliduc’s wife went and picked it up, then returned and placed the exquisite red flower in Guilliadun’s mouth. For a second or two nothing happened, but then the girl stirred, sighed, and opened her eyes (10).
“Good lord,” she murmured, “how long I’ve slept!”
Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force or Mademoiselle de La Force (1654–1724) was a French novelist and poet. Her best-known work was her 1698 fairy tale Persinette which was adapted by the Brothers Grimm as the story Rapunzel.
She was the daughter of François de Caumont de La Force (eighth son of Marshal de La Force), marquis de Castelmoron and of Marguerite de Viçose. Raised as a Protestant, she converted to Catholicism in 1686 and received a pension of 1000 écus from Louis XIV. Like other famous women writers of the 17th century, she was named a member of the Academy of the Ricovrati of Padua.
Her first novels were in the popular vein of “histoires secrètes”, short novels recounting the “secret history” of a famous person and linking the action generally to an amorous intrigue, such as Histoire secrete de Bourgogne (1694), Histoire secrète de Henri IV, roi de Castille (1695), Histoire de Marguerite de Valois, reine de Navarre (1696).
She had a long affair with the much younger Charles Briou, finally managing to marry him secretly with the king’s permission, but her family and his father intervened to have the marriage annulled.
32. Auguste de Caumont, 10.Duc de La Force * 11-10-1803 + 17-11-1882
33. Antoinette de Vischer de Celles * 23-2-1812 ++ 20-2-1856
34. Armand Urbain Louis de Maillé de La Tour-Landry, Comte de Maillé * Parijs 1-7-1816 + 10-6-1903
Robinson Jeffers’s Tor House
The poet Robinson Jeffers was born in 1887 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and moved to California with his family as a teenager. After marrying in 1913, he and his wife, Una, settled in Carmel, California. In 1919, he began building a stone cottage overlooking Carmel Bay that he called Tor House, after the craggy knoll, or “tor”, on which it was built. Nearby, Jeffers also built a forty-foot stone structure—Hawk Tower—selecting and laying each stone himself.
Both the Tower and the coastal landscape figure strongly in Jeffers’s poetry, much of which celebrates the awesome beauty of the hills and ravines that plunged into the Pacific. His poem “Rock and Hawk” is a perfect example of his belief in the dramatic, and often tragic, power of nature:
Here is a symbol in which
Many high tragic thoughts
Watch their own eyes.
This gray rock, standing tall
On the headland, where the seawind
Lets no tree grow,
Earthquake-proved, and signatured
By ages of storms: on its peak
A falcon has perched.
I think, here is your emblem
To hang in the future sky;
Not the cross, not the hive,
But this; bright power, dark peace;
Fierce consciousness joined with final
Life with calm death; the falcon’s
Realist eyes and act
Married to the massive
Mysticism of stone,
Which failure cannot cast down
Nor success make proud.
Almost all of Jeffers’s writing was done at Tor House. The Jeffers family also entertained many influential literary and cultural celebrities there, among them Sinclair Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, Charles Lindbergh, George Gershwin, and Charlie Chaplin.
Managed by the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, the Tor House is open for tours, and poetry programs and readings are presented throughout the year. Visit the Tor House Foundation website for hours, admission fees, and more information.
La Belle Rose
Jon Gregory Presco
Dedicated to my Muse, Belle Burch
Poetry is the Truth
When I was a gifted youth
I do not recall if I studied the artist Sandro Botticelli.
When a man
I wrote my version of ‘The Birth of Venus’
and did a painting of my muse
coming out of the sea.
I must have neglected this great Renaissance Artist,
and his beloved Muse – until now!
But, Since I beheld her, my Belle
and compared her to Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia Vespucci,
do I now behold all the clues of the petals
and the thread
that have brought me through the labyrinth of time,
to adore her once again.
And she recognizes me!
Centuries ago I was buried at her feet
in order to continue my long vigilance,
for she was only asleep.
One day she will awaken, and the City of Flowers
will again bask in her unparelled beauty.
Bella! Mon Belle!
Following the Renaissance of the Miller Brothers
to the top of the hill in the lost city of Fairmount,
I came to the crossroads of time.
When I saw the intersection of Flora and Fairmount,
I knew it would be a matter of days
before I was with my Sleeping Belle, once again,
once upon a time
She is the one I came here for.
After finding the lost tombstone of George Melvin Miller,
the founder of Florence,
I began to see the grand design.
When she came across the piazza de Keasy
while the minstrel sang a song by the Grateful Dead
I had my rose at ready.
When I handed it to her
I heard the lovers complain
Where is my Belle Rose!
This is the Renaissance Rose
that my ancestor employed to write his name,
When I told Belle what kind of work I do,
I described my painting of a woman coming out of the sea.
Many have asked me who she is. Now, I can say;
“She is Belle, the most beautiful woman in Florence.”
We will go there, soon,
to behold the sea, a shell, and the foam
at La Giostra
a jousting tournament was held at the Piazza Santa Croce.
The gallant knight, Giuliano
entered the field bearing a banner
on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athene
Her image was painted by Botticelli himself.
Underneath was the French inscription
La Sans Pareille, meaning “The unparalleled one”.
From then on Simonetta became known
as the most beautiful woman in Florence,
the most beautiful woman of the Renaissance.
I salute thee!