Monday, 1 December 2008

Daedalos' daughter


In a flock of girls 
he doesn't see her

Once he roused stone
to song, ran rings
around kings and monsters,
made wings, master
of high and low.

Up, up he swung,
his son in tow,
humming with glee
and glory.

A curse on the sun’s
indifferent fire, razing
a boy’s blurry dreams.
His unfinished
stone soul crashed
into the ready sea.

Oh, to be nameless.
Now the wingbeat
of a father’s fist
opening and closing
is the only thing
that stirs the air.

No light in his eyes
but for a boy
trailing a scrawl of wings,
wax pellets holding like welds.


She dreams herself armless
but winged and beaked
and bedecked with feathers.
His ringed bird, she’d fly
under a sky brimming with clouds
or in the white light of the moon.

And if she opens her eyes
and falters, flutters, fails,
he’ll still see something amazing:
a girl falling out of the sky.


Anonymous said...
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swiss said...

brilliant. reminds me of the poems in carol ann duffy's the world's wife

Amanda said...

This is amazing! I can't believe you wrote it - a limit of my imagination obviously, not a statement about you! It's like Wordsworth or Whitman or somebody else famous, a true wordsmith....but it's YOU! What talent you have!

Uschi said...

schön, dass du dich gemeldet hast,
so schön, dass du Energie hast und grad hier bist,
so wortlos ich immer, in eigenen Strudeln gefangen und mich fragend, ob ich verstehe und erfassen kann, was du hinausrufst...
ich fühl es....aber die Worte, mit denen ich versuche, es auszudrücken, klingen mir oft so leer!
Und ich mag kein blabla...

Dein Gedicht...mein Englisch reicht nicht aus dafür...aber ich empfinde den so viel weicheren, innigeren *sound* der Englischen Sprache.
Ich mag den letzten Teil sehr!

redredday said...

Marjojo, i Love this. you really are getting me into these crazy gods and mortals. i didn't know about the story of Daedalos and his son until i looked it up. and coming back to read your poem again, i can appreciate your retelling of it so much more. John thinks it is the best one yet he has read of your writings. the first two lines took us immediately. we were talking about it last night and going back and forth on what it is about. freedom (lack of)? father-daughter/son relationship? expectations for son, none for daughter, which in a way also translates to freedom or no freedom for one and not the other, depending on how you look at it? we got hung a little bit on 'His ringed bird' which i imagined as being one of those birds that would fly out but not too far and would always come back to its keeper. John thought of those birds that actually have rings put on them, either as markings or preventing them from swallowing. i didn't like that but i guess John is thinking more as a metaphor or something. oh and Carina is such a perfect name.

Marjojo said...

Thanks, all, for reading and so generously and favourably commenting, I’m in heaven.
Mien, it’s almost unbelievable to me and utterly thrilling that there should be people who discuss a poem of mine! Re: ringed birds – scientists put rings on birds to mark them so they can follow their movements. I was thinking of the girl so tied to her father, wanting to be tied to him, who doesn’t really see her, but also the lack of freedom a ring might imply, esp. for a girl, in all kinds of ways. And carina is such a lovely word, isn’t it. I only ‘found’ it a couple of weeks ago and knew right away I had to use it as a name for the girl, for the poem, and, are you surprised, I thought of you too, as our blog-correspondence has frequently touched on wings and the like. Please give my thanks to John, I was quietly wondering whether/hoping that maybe my writing had improved. Now I’m only worried whether I’ll be able to write another poem, every new start finds me in a dip.

(carina – prominent ridge along the sternum or breastbone of most birds to which the flight muscles are attached)

mansuetude said...

i didn't know that word carina, i was looking up clavical the other day, which is similiar in humans...

love the words, the motion, that she is falling out of the sky. It seems a leap of life--even if only in his eyes, it is her perception of his perception... that is in her ability to fly.