Saturday 16 December 2017

Poem by Hans Tentije


Before daring to execute your leap you had let the bee’s wax
with which your wings were to be fixed to your shoulder blades
harden firmly, while well aware
that you can never escape from any labyrinth
especially not the inner one

no matter how carefully your father set about his work
made use of his best implements, and chose feathers
with sturdy shafts and quills, the risks
remained enormous

which in the last resort weighed heavier against gravity
than the sensation of breaking free, being able to marvel at
the splendid panorama, the entire archipelago
hundreds of metres below you, the mainland still
many miles away

and on the thermal of a light breeze your daring swelled
into hubris, the shrivelling sun
robbed you of your pinions, you were already stone-blind
before the water closed above you

having so cleverly escaped from the convolutions of the maze
you hoped to transcend yourself by making a cast at what was
highest of all, for there for each attempt one must
of course begin repeatedly from the beginning: to capture
a glimpse of the infinite –

that’s why

1 comment:

John Irons said...

For another view of Icarus' fall, try the Swedish poet Ebba Lindqvist: