Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Day 542: The Triumph of Trying

'Not to try, is the only failure there is.' 

Yes, consider Icarus again. There's another way to look at his story as Anne Sexton presents here. He did try. And for a few moments, he was successful.  What glorious moments they must have been, 'acclaiming the sun.'  The last few lines of this poem seem to say - better to be foolish, passionate and really alive, than sensible, stagnant and stifled.

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph - Anne Sexton

Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on,
testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade,
and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well.
Larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
into that hot eye. Who cares that he fell back to the sea?
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.

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