Classical imagery in poetry

The pop-ups throughout the site explain classical references in context, but there are some which frequently recur, from which this article is being compiled.

A prophecy of judgement

In the poem 'Spelt from Sibyl's leaves', Hopkins may be referring to the Sibyl of Cumae, a prophetess of Apollo, the Greek god associated with prophecy and poetry. Messages would appear written on leaves, which would then disintegrate as soon as read by the Sibyl. In the Latin epic The Aeneid by Virgil, the Sibyl conducts the hero, Aeneas, into the Underworld. In the poem, the dead of the Underworld also have prophetic powers, as well as being judged for their earthly lives.

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