Sculpture by Renée Sintenis.

According to Wikipedia:

Daphne (/ˈdæfniː/; Greek: Δάφνη, meaning “laurel”) is a minor figure in Greek mythology known as a naiad—a type of female nymph associated with fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of freshwater. There are several versions of the myth, but the general narrative is that because of her beauty, Daphne attracted the attention and ardor of the god Apollo (Phoebus). Apollo pursued her and just before being overtaken, Daphne pleaded to her father, the rivergod Ladon, and Ge (Gaia) for help. So Ladon then transformed Daphne into a laurel tree.

While researching this statue I came across this blog, which also had a poem that I rather liked. It seems to have been written by the owner of the blog who, co-incidentally lives/lived about four miles away from where I did when I was living in France.

Daphne Transformed

I was born in sweat and traces of blood,
then grew young and tall and smooth,
lips like apricots. His desire was relentless
as he stalked me through mortals’ fields,
and I was trapped in velvet skin, sweating shame
beneath his fetid hunter’s breath.
Today I’m unassailable in my leaves and ivy chokers,
replaying days of freedom,
storied nights of goddesses and men….
It’s been so many years since he transformed me,
and no one dares to touch my cracking bark.
Books will tell you I was beautiful, then saved,
but I know the curse of beauty, how I’ve changed,
that tears are merely amber and what myth is.

Alexa Intrator
June 2012

When I first took this picture back in 2012 I didn’t like it very much. It seemed to me that there wasn’t enough separation between the statue and the background. Looking at it now, three years later I’ve changed my view. Now I see this a strength. Today I looked at the picture with fresh eyes and at first I didn’t really know what I was looking at. I took a while for my brain to figure out that this was a statue. I think this ambiguity adds a bit to the picture.

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