An Old Woman in a Blue Dress

An old woman in a blue dress: an image of luck knocking at the door suddenly

“Master,” said I him, “now tell me also:
This Fortune of which you touch me,
Which is that the well of the world has so among branches?”

(Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Inferno, VII, 67)

An old woman in a blue dress,
Has come to knock at my sleep.
Then, enchantingly,
the wrinkles have relaxed
And her robe has become night.

Her voice repeated to me that she was called “Fortune.”
While tangles of whispers
(slow as millions of drops)
returned calmly to the earth.

It was a whirlwind.
Hopes in old test tubes.
The sigh of missed intercourse
In a rush of repulsive bitterness…
…and nothing more.

I was crying,
When I woke up,
With cold ash in my hand,
Of my beloved

Deposited for legal protection with Patamu: certificate

A brief note on luck in Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, luck was not left to chance but had a divine entity overseeing its distribution. The goddess Tyche, also known as Fortuna in Roman mythology, was responsible for bestowing good fortune on mortals. Tyche was believed to control the prosperity and misfortune that individuals encountered. According to the ancient Greeks, Tyche’s whims could determine the outcome of battles, crops’ success, and individuals’ fate.

Mosaic depicting the goddess of fortune Tyche
Mosaic depicting the Greek goddess Tyche holding a cornucopia, a symbol of wealth ready to be bestowed on “lucky” recipients.

Tyche was often depicted holding a cornucopia, symbolizing abundance, good luck, and a rudder to direct the course of fate. The goddess was revered and feared simultaneously, as her favor could bring great wealth and success, while her displeasure could lead to difficulties and setbacks. The belief in Tyche’s influence on luck was deeply rooted in ancient Greek society, shaping how individuals dealt with risk and opportunity.

In Greek mythology, luck was not simply a matter of good fortune but a force guided by the hand of Tyche. It was believed that receiving good or bad luck reflected the goddess’ favor, making offerings and prayers to Tyche an essential practice for those seeking good fortune in their endeavors.

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