Poetry For People / The Famous Stuff

May 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm (Poetry for People, The Famous Stuff) (, , , , )

This is the second poem in my “Icarus”  trilogy. Finally. Click HERE to see the first one. Then take a look at the one below.

Icarus by Edward Field

Only the feathers floating around the hat

Showed that anything more spectacular had occurred

Than the usual drowning. The police preferred to ignore

The confusing aspects of the case,

And the witnesses ran off to a gang war.

So the report filed and forgotten in the archives read simply

“Drowned,” but it was wrong: Icarus

Had swum away, coming at last to the city

Where he rented a house and tended the garden.

——————————

“That nice Mr. Hicks” the neighbors called him,

Never dreaming that the gray, respectable suit

Concealed arms that had controlled huge wings

Nor that those sad, defeated eyes had once

Compelled the sun. And had he told them

They would have answered with a shocked, uncomprehending stare

No, he could not disturb their neat front yards;

Yet all his books insisted that this was a horrible mistake:

What was he doing aging in a suburb?

Can the genius of the hero fall

To the middling stature of the merely talented?

——————————

And nightly Icarus probes his wound

And daily in his workshop, curtains carefully drawn,

Constructs small wings and tries to fly

To the lighting fixture on the ceiling:

Fails every time and hates himself for trying.

——————————

He had thought himself a hero, had acted heroically,

And dreamt of his fall, the tragic fall of the hero;

But now rides commuter trains,

Serves on various committees,

And wishes he had drowned.

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