The golden one is gone from the banquets;
She, beloved of Atimetus,
The swallow, the bright Homonoea:
Gone the dear chatterer;
Death succeeds Atimetus.
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"Epigram" by H. D. – A Eulogy to Homonoea

In the succinct verses of "Epigram" by H. D., readers are transported into a realm of elegy and mourning, where the poet grapples with the departure of a cherished figure. Through evocative language and concise expression, H. D. captures the essence of loss, weaving a poignant narrative that transcends the brevity of the poem.

The opening lines set a mournful tone, declaring, "The golden one is gone from the banquets," immediately drawing readers into a scene of absence and emptiness. The use of "the golden one" creates a sense of ethereal beauty and significance, establishing the departed as a luminous and revered presence in the poet's world.

The identification of the departed as "beloved of Atimetus" adds a layer of personal connection and grief. Atimetus becomes a poignant figure, perhaps a mourner or a significant other, amplifying the emotional weight of the poem. The association with a swallow further deepens the symbolism, as swallows are often linked to themes of migration, change, and the fleeting nature of life.

The epithet "the bright Homonoea" introduces a contrast between brightness and the subsequent gloom of loss. Homonoea, described as a "chatterer," implies a lively and communicative spirit. The use of "bright" further accentuates the radiant qualities that define the departed. The poet, in mourning this figure, elevates her beyond the ordinary, painting a vivid portrait of a beloved soul.

The abruptness of "Gone the dear chatterer" intensifies the emotional impact, as if the poet is grappling with the immediacy of absence. The simplicity of expression resonates, mirroring the stark reality of loss that often defies elaborate articulation. In these few words, H. D. conveys the irreplaceable void left by the departed, leaving readers to contemplate the universal experience of grief.

The concluding lines introduce Atimetus, whose death follows the departure of the golden one. This succession of losses adds a layer of tragedy, emphasizing the inevitability of mortality and the cyclical nature of life and death. The brevity of the poem, much like life itself, becomes a poignant reminder of the fleeting moments we hold dear.

"Epigram" by H. D. serves as a masterclass in the economy of language, distilling complex emotions into a few lines that resonate with readers. The poem's power lies not only in what is said but in what is left unsaid, inviting readers to reflect on their own experiences of loss and the transient beauty of existence. Through a delicate interplay of words, H. D. immortalizes the golden one and Atimetus in the collective memory, transforming their departure into a timeless elegy.

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