Prometheus (a poem)

To the rare old earth from the older heavens
It came in your grasp:
Fire from the wedding, element most regal;
Your daring had no match,
Deliverance yet the work of an eagle
While you waited, fearing blindness,
For the kindness of another god.

Such a crime will prick the fullness of time
To ease survival of a titan’s jibe
That his army’s words are sharp as swords,
Quicker than burial lime.

We have spat in the turf fire and forgot your name,
Bound up by the small men of the inner tribe;
Recalling ancient impotence or rising shame,
Complaisant still below the rigging,
Loving music plucked upon the cords;

And living is not digging
The grave of our own god’s rival.



Filed under Poems

11 responses to “Prometheus (a poem)

  1. Ike Jakson

    Thanks for this Brendan

    It’s good Sunday morning reading. Quiet Sunday mornings are respected and treasured in our clan; it is an old tradition that has just been passed on. If you visit our son this morning [he was 38 earlier this year] you will find the family having coffee and biscuits with sleepy eyes and hardly anyone saying anything.

    When did you first write the poem?

  2. Hello Ike. It’s 10.40 a.m. here and I’ve just got up. We tend to have lazy Sunday mornings too.

    I wrote the poem when I was around your son’s age. I wrote quite a few poems around then.

  3. Ike Jakson

    Thanks again Brendan

    Post more of those poems. I had a lovely note from Ron just after I had posted my previous comment and replied to him a few moments ago, probably while you were reading mine. Another Sunday morning has brought its own blessings.

    Enjoy the day with the family.

  4. Cymbeline

    Brendano. I keep looking at this poem. I feel that it is parading learning and not feeling. Something ostentatious and flashy about having to know about Prometheus.

    Thank God for the line ‘we have spat in the turf fire and forgot your name’. That is a wonderful line, and the only line I can understand.

  5. Thanks for the feedback, Cymbeline. Marya said she liked that line as well, on MyT.

    I’m sure you’re right about the poem … I would have posted it before had I not thought it somewhat weak. As I mentioned previously, I once wrote a lot of poems based very loosely on the periodic table of elements. This one was suggested by promethium. I originally called it ‘Saviour’, but thought it might make more sense as ‘Prometheus’.

  6. Cymbeline

    I think that you are best at love and instinct. The learning follows. This poem, to me, puts the learning first.

  7. Thanks, Cymbeline. On foot of the ‘Duet’ poem being published, I’ve been asked to read some poems at (of all things) a poetry reading. I’ve never done anything like that before, but then I’d never played the guitar and sung on a stage (except a very small one) before this year, so I suppose I’ll have a bash.

  8. Cymbeline

    I do not like false modesty.

  9. Cymbeline

    You are a shining star.

    • Thank you, Cymbeline. It’s not really false modesty … I’m satisfied that some of my poems are of a high standard. It’s just that I may be nervous about reading them in front of people, as I have never done that before.

      I find it more difficult to play the guitar in front of people than alone, although singing in front of people doesn’t bother me.

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