Poem (Icarus)

Poem: Icarus 

by Eileen Wu

Background information: Icarus is the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology. According to myth, the two were imprisoned on an island and Daedalus, a genius inventor, built crafted wings held together by wax to help them escape. Daedalus told Icarus to fly between the sun and the ocean, because the ocean’s spray will dissolve the wax and the sun’s heat will melt the wax. However, so delighted at the feeling of flying, Icarus flies too high. His wings fall apart and he dies. Obviously, my poem takes creative liberties with the myth, specifically, the reason Icarus goes flying. However, I hope I was able to stay true to the myth’s heart. Enjoy!

There was once a boy

Who dreamed of flight

Of countless prospects

With no end to sight

The father gifted his son

A pair of wax wings

But told the youth

To fear the sun and sea

Giddy with excitement,

The boy ignored his father

Leaping off a jagged cliff

Toward the azure water

The boy adjusted trajectory

To angle closer to the sky

His father’s warning rang in his ears

But the words were brushed aside

The boy screamed in horror

As he plunged and fell

His descent, a wild spiral

So rang his death bell

Was the murderer the father?

Was it the sun or the gods?

Perhaps it was the boy

Who defied the decided odds?

“Who?” The boy may wonder

“Who should I condemn?

“Who is it but I, Icarus

“Who brought about my end?”

~Eileen Wu