Daedalus & Icarus (poem)

Notes from the Grid: Simple Awareness Human Voices Wake Us

Preorder print copies of Notes from the Grid here: https://wordandsilence.com/human-voices-wake-us/ Tonight, I read the last three essays from Notes from the Grid. After a short introduction, the eighth essay begins at 6:00, the ninth at 26:30, and the tenth at 54:40. The audio from Philip Roth near the end of tonight's episode comes from Christopher Lydon's 2006 interview with him. As always, send any comments to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support
  1. Notes from the Grid: Simple Awareness
  2. Notes from the Grid: The Perpetual Adolescent
  3. Notes from the Grid: All Things Can Console
  4. Notes from the Grid: To Criticize the Critic
  5. Notes from the Grid: Rediscovering the Hidden Life

Daedalus & Icarus

The old craftsman came to Cumae after
a long life of art and flight, love and theft,
came alone to the Sibyl’s Italian shore
wasted with age and reputation

to the one who knew every alphabet,
the seeress who saw the future in driven leaves:
and warped with the same old age as him,
she asked that he carve her sanctuary.

His bent wrinkled body covered in dust,
he hammers and carves and polishes away
all of the horrors let loose from his hands:
his dead nephew; the bull-impregnated

woman and its awful issue; the youths
brought from Mycenae for its food; the slave
girl’s love that bore him a son, and the love
he took pity on that imprisoned them both—

he strikes them away and leaves them on the wall,
all of them, as well as the envy and
revenge his talents inspired, all hammered
forgotten. But not his son. Twice he’s tried

to let him go, as the sky did before
the sea took him; twice he’s tried to fashion
his face or his descent or his youthful limbs
or just his eyes, and twice he’s stopped in tears.

Originally published in Poethead